What’s Happening in SC: May Events in Charleston + Columbia

May is here, so we’re sharing another roundup of events happening in Charleston + Columbia!

Our weather typically peaks at this time of year, so our goal is always to spend as much time outside as possible. From food to cultural events and so much more, we are sharing with you guys what we thought is worth checking out this month.

Here are our favorite Charleston + Columbia events happening this month!


May 3-7: North Charleston Arts Fest

This annual 5-day celebration highlights the arts and culture of local + regional artists and performers in the specialties of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and literature. This festival has become one of the most comprehensive in the state a diverse schedule that offers something for everyone, including concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, and much more

Time: Varies by event 

Tickets: All events are free!


May 6: Lowcountry Shrimp Festival

After a two-year hiatus, the Lowcountry Shrimp Festival is back! There will be lots of local shrimp, live music, a huge children’s area, and over 50 local craft vendors. All proceeds benefit the local charter school, CREECS.

Time: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Tickets: Free!


May 13: Mother’s Day Floral Workshop at The Charleston Museum

Join Pia Geraghty, a local floral designer with over 20 years of experience and owner of The Secret Garden CHS for a day of creating a colorful floral arrangement,  for Mom to keep. Afterward, you can make your very own Mother’s Day cards as well. Your registration will include instruction from Geraghty,  a European Master Certified florist, a large selection of flowers, and a glazed ceramic keepsake container.

Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Tickets: $75-105


May 20: The Gullah Gala

This year will be the 2nd annual  Gullah Gala, a fashion and music experience showcasing local designers (And Megan is the host!) This isn’t just your typical fashion show. This is a fashion party for the entire city! Highlights include cash prizes for the most stylish couple, red carpet interviews, paparazzi photographers, vendors, an open bar, food, live music/DJ, and more.

Time: 2:00-6:00 pm

Tickets: $47-600


May 26: Spoleto Festival USA

For 17 days, the Spoleto Festival USA takes place across Charleston’s historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces to host performances by renowned artists and emerging performers in opera, theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. This event is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival!

Time: Times vary depending on the event

Tickets: Tickets vary depending on the event



May 4: First Thursday on Main Street

Come and experience all Main Street has to offer through a mix of food, art, and culture.

Time: Times vary depending on the event

Tickets: Free event!


May 6: Meeting Street Artisan Market

Shop and mingle with local artists and makers who are just as unique as their creations. It’s a great opportunity to explore the River District and West Columbia!

Time: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Tickets: Free event!


May 6: Rosewood Crawfish Festival

Are you a fan of crawfish? This one’s for you! The Creole Chef will be coming to town with about  10,000 pounds of fresh Louisiana-grown crawfish + all your Cajun favorites including boudin, jambalaya, and much more. Not a fan of crawfish? Over a dozen other food vendors will be selling hamburgers and even Southern fair food treats. There will be lots of live music, an artist village, and the Lil’ Crawdaddy Carnival area for family fun.

Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Tickets: $10-250


May 6-7: Festival of Roses

The Festival of Roses is a full day of food, flowers, and fun! The roses will be in full bloom as you enter the Edisto Memorial Gardens and on Saturday, you can enjoy performances from dancers, singers, and musicians of all ages.

Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Tickets: Free to attend!


May 7: Columbia Fireflies vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Special Olympics Day)

Come and cheer on the Columbia Fireflies baseball team and celebrate the athletes that compete in the Special Olympics. It is also Sunday Funday which features pre-game autographs and kids will have the chance to run the bases following the game.

Time: 5:05 pm

Tickets: Tickets vary depending on the seat


May 11-14: Art Blossoms at The Columbia Museum of Art

Mother’s Day weekend, The Columbia Museum of Art will host four amazing days centered around botanical beauty for a limited-time exhibition fundraiser that features floral interpretations of beloved works of art. Events include the beloved Roses and Rosé tour and tastings, art classes, a Mother’s Day brunch, and a new exclusive tour with CMA Executive Director Della Watkins. This event also serves as a fundraiser for the Columbia Museum of Art and every ticket purchased will go towards supporting the CMA’s award-winning arts education and programming that helps to ensure a thriving creative community in the Midlands.

Time: Times vary depending on the event 

Tickets: Prices vary depending on the event


May 18: Power of the Purse Benefiting United Way of Midlands 

Women in Philanthropy is hosting Power of the Purse, a party with a purpose that benefits women’s and children’s causes in the Midlands. There will be live music from the Terence Young Project and one-of-a-kind auction items, designer handbags, and more!

Time: 6:30 pm

Tickets: $75 per person, $65 per person for WIP and YLS Donors, and $85 at the door


May 27: SC Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival

FTFA is bringing the best food truck and craft beer experience to this city! There will be some of the area’s most popular food trucks serving up fan favorites such as delicious topped waffles, vegan wraps, adult popsicles, and so much more. There will of course be dozens of regional and national brews too!

Time: 12:00-5:00 pm

Tickets: $5-50

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