SPEAKER @ THE CENTER: Noon-1 p.m. Thursday at the State Library’s Center for the Book,1500 Senate St. Book talk and signing by Charleston author Mark R. Jones (“Doin’ the Charleston: Black Roots of Black American Music & the Jenkins Orphanage Legacy”). Free and open to the public; bring your lunch and learn more about the Palmetto State. www.readsc.org/events
EDVENTURE AFTER DARK: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. Adults can have fun at the museum, too. There will be glow-in-the-dark manicures and body paint, laser tag and light graffiti as well as beer, wine, pizza and networking. Tickets are $20 (includes two drinks); available at http://www.edventure.org. Proceeds will benefit the Yes, Every Child fund, EdVenture’s commitment to providing underserved families with access to the museum for only $1 per person.
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FREE FRIDAYS AT THE ZOO: Free Fridays are back at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, 500 Wildlife Parkway. Residents of Richland and Lexington counties will receive free admission through Feb. 28. Zoo hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Guests will be asked to provide a valid driver’s license or property tax statement as proof of residency. (803) 779-8717; http://www.riverbanks.org
“LE DINER DE CONS (THE DINNER GAME)”: 7 p.m. Friday at the Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. Play in French (with English synopsis) presented by the French Alliance Theater Club. Tickets are $10; museum members, $5; students, free. (803) 361-1858; http://www.afcolumbiasc.org
“THE 39 STEPS”: 8 p.m. Friday at Longstreet Theatre, 1300 Greene St. Combine an Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller with the style of Monty Python and you get Patrick Barlow’s manically theatrical comedy. A cast of four will become more than 150 difference characters in the Tony Award winning whodunit. Tickets are $12-$18; on March 1 there will be a half-price late night performance at 11 p.m. Presented by the USC College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Theatre and Dance. (803) 777-2551
SWINGIN’ AT THE BIG APPLE: 8 p.m.-midnight Friday at the Big Apple, 1000 Hampton St. Swing dance lessons will be held at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8; Historic Columbia and Palmetto Swing Dance Association members, $5. (803) 252-1770, ext. 23; http://www.historiccolumbia.org
LEXINGTON’S RACE AGAINST HUNGER: Saturday at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church, 5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington. 5K fitness run/walk begins at 8:15 a.m.; 10K run starts at 8:20 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run is slated for 8:25 a.m. Registration for the 10K is $35; 5K and fun run, $20. Race day registration, 6:40-7:40 a.m. in the gym behind the main building. 100 percent of the profit feeds the hungry. (803) 359-7770, ext. 20; http://www.lexrah.org
ROSE PRUNING WORKSHOP: 9 a.m. Saturday in the rose gardens of Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, Harden street side. Members of the Greater Columbia Rose Society will also have information on roses suitable for the Midlands, where to buy them, how to plant and care for them and yes, pruning them. Free and open to the public; rain date will be March 8. (803) 786-6654 or email email@example.com
WO-MILE HIKE AT SESQUI: 10 a.m. Saturday at Sesquicentennial State Park, 9564 Two Notch Road. Guided hike will focus on fitness, so participants must be able to walk two miles at a moderate pace.Free with park admission of $2; $1.25 for S.C. residents age 65 and older or disabled and members of the S.C. National Guard; children age 15 and younger are admitted free — an adult must accompany children 15 and younger. Preregistration is required, the deadline is Wednesday. (803) 788-2706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTH EVENT: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at First Nazareth Baptist Church, 2351 Gervais St. Presentations on the Affordable Care Act, end-of life issues and medication safety, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Navigators will be on hand to help with Marketplace Insurance sign-up. Health screenings, visiion checks and attorneys will discuss living wills and powers of attorney. Free; sponsored by the Institute for Health Care Improvement — USC Chapter, Healthy Columbia, First Nazareth and the S.C. Commission for the Blind.
REMEMBRANCE RALLY: 1-4 p.m. Saturday on the Assembly Street side of the State House. Commemoration of the 149th year of the burning of Columbia. Sponsored by the S.C. Conservative Action Council.
GAMECOCK POLAR PLUNGE: Fundraiser for Special Olympics South Carolina, 6-10 p.m. Saturday at the Maxcy Gregg Park pool, 1650 Park Circle. A minimum of $50 must be raised in order to plunge; plungers who raise $500 will receive a hoodie; $1,000 rates an embroidered robe. Dress up as a group or as an individual — there will be prizes. Register at http://so-sc.org/event/usc-polar-plunge/
SPRING VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION: Annual fundraiser, 6 p.m. Saturday at The Members Club at Wildewood Tennis Center, 90 Mallet Hill Road. Live and silent auctions, catered Italian dinner, wine/beer cash bar, entertainment. The academic booster organization of Spring Valley High School provides resources to teachers and students that normal education funding does not. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. http://www.supportspringvalleyhigh.org
UU COFFEEHOUSE: 7 p.m. Saturday at 2701 Heyward St. (Heyward and Woodrow streets). Doors open at 7 p.m. with Melissa Mummert performing on the side stage. At 8 p.m., it’s Chris Compton and the Ruby Brunettes. Daniele Howle and her band + Firework Show will take the stage at 9:15. A student and musician Q&A will be held following the show. Adult tickets are $15 in advance ($17 at the door); high school and college students, $3; eighth-graders and younger will be admitted free. (803) 200-2824; http://www.supportspringvalleyhigh.org
“THE 39 STEPS”: 7 p.m. Saturday at Longstreet Theatre, 1300 Greene St. Combine an Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller with the style of Monty Python and you get Patrick Barlow’s manically theatrical comedy. A cast of four will become more than 150 difference characters in the Tony Award winning whodunit. Tickets are $12-$18. Presented by the USC College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Theatre and Dance. 777-2551
TRINITY CATHEDRAL CHAMBER SINGERS: Southern Exposure New Music Series, 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly St. Free.
USC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St. The program will feature a salute to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (“Camelot,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “Gigi,” “Brigadoon,” “My Fair Lady”). Joining the orchestra will be the Sandlapper Singers and soloists from the USC School of Music. Tickets are $30; seniors, USC faculty and staff, $25; students, $8. (803) 251-2222; http://www.capitoltickets.com
J.S. BACH SACRED CANTATA: “How Beautifully Shines the Morningstar,” 10 a.m. Sunday at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1301 Richland St. Sung in German by the Chancel Choir along with soprano soloist Serena Hill LaRoche and the Ebenezer Festival orchestra, led by Cantor Thomas J. White. (803) 765-9430
EDWARD RICE — FORTRESS SERIES: Gallery talk, 2 p.m. Sunday at if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment. (803) 238-2351
“LE DINER DE CONS (THE DINNER GAME)”: 2 p.m. Sunday at the Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. Play in French (with English synopsis) presented by the French Alliance Theater Club. Tickets are $10; museum members, $5; students, free. (803) 361-1858; http://www.afcolumbiasc.org
“THE 39 STEPS”: 3 p.m. Sunday at Longstreet Theatre, 1300 Greene St. Combine an Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller with the style of Monty Python and you get Patrick Barlow’s manically theatrical comedy. A cast of four will become more than 150 difference characters in the Tony Award winning whodunit. Tickets are $12-$18; on March 1 there will be a half-price late night performance at 11 p.m. Presented by the USC College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Theatre and Dance. 777-2551
SHUCKIN’ ON THE SHOALS: 4-7 p.m. Sunday in the Environmental Education Center at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road. Saluda Shoals Foundation fundraiser will feature oysters (don’t forget your oyster knife and gloves), smoked chicken and rice gumbo, beer, wine and a benefit auction. $50; couples, $90; foundation members, $45/$75. (803) 213-2036; http://www.saludashoalsfoundation.org
CAMERON RUNYAN OPEN HOUSE: Meet your city councilman from 5-7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 1737 Main St. (803) 545-3061
PAT CONROY AS STUDENT AND TEACHER: 5 p.m. Tuesday in the program room of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, 1322 Greene St. (enter through the main entrance of USC’s Thomas Cooper Library. A video presentation of Conroy’s keynote address from the 2006 James Dickey Conference will be introduced by William B. Thesing, co-editor of “The Way We Read James Dickey.” At 6 p.m., a panel discussion moderated by novelist Janna McMahan, will feature Conroy’s Beaufort High School classmate, historian Alexia Helsley and two of his former students, chef Sallie Ann Robinson and novelist Valerie Sayers. A book signing will follow the event. Free, but seating is limited; reservations deadline is Friday. (803) 576-6016; email email@example.com
MAKE IT, BAKE IT, GROW IT, SEW IT: Live auction to benefit the Shepherd’s Center of Columbia, noon-2 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Leisure Ministries Building at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. (803) 779-4449; http://www.shepherdcentercolumbia.org
“THE 39 STEPS”: Feb. 26-March 1 at Longstreet Theatre, 1300 Greene St. Combine an Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller with the style of Monty Python and you get Patrick Barlow’s manically theatrical comedy. A cast of four will become more than 150 difference characters in the Tony Award winning whodunit. Performances are 8 p.m. Feb. 26-28 and 7, 11 p.m. March 1 (the 11 p.m. performance will be half price) Tickets are $12-$18. Presented by the USC College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Theatre and Dance. 777-2551
AARP SMART DRIVER COURSE: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Crooked Creek Park, 1098 Old Lexington Highway, Chapin. Designed for drivers age 50 and older; participants successfully completing the course may be eligible for an insurance discount. $20; AARP members, $15. (803) 345-6181
FREE DOCUMENT SHREDDING: 9 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Walmart parking lot, 5420 Forest Drive. Shred360 will be accepting non-perishable food items and cash donations to benefit Harvest Hope Food Bank. Office quality paper products only, no metals, plastics or hazardous materials. Limit five boxes or bags. Pick-up of materials can be arranged for the handicapped or medically restricted, call (803) 463-7090.
LIVE WITH PAT CONROY: 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St. Dr. Walter Edgar will interview Pat Conroy, author of “My Reading Life,” 2014’s One Book, One Columbia pick. Conroy will also sign copies of his books. Free, but tickets are required; available at all Richland Library locations, the One Columbia office, 1219 Taylor St. and Township Auditorium. (803) 231-6348
VALENTINES FOR VETS: 9 a.m. Feb. 28 in the Media Center at Richland Northeast High School, 7500 Brookfield Road. Veterans are invited to share their memories and teach students some history. Veterans should arrive 8:15-8:45 for registration and the first session will begin at 9 a.m. (803) 530-2840
COLLEGE ART DAY: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. Aspiring art students may explore South Carolina colleges and university art departments, meet current students and faculty from colleges across the state and hear from alumni applying their art degrees in their professions. Includes museum tour and admission to the temporary exhibition, “This Just In.” Free with museum general museum or membership. http://www.scmuseum.org
THROUGH THEIR EYES — TEAM SHAW: Opening reception and artists panel, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 28 at Gallery 135/Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St., Sumter. Showcase of the work of military photographers and videographers stationed at Shaw Air Force Base or who are residents of the Sumter area. The exhibit will be up through April 4, gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. (803) 436-2260
OPERA AT USC: “L’ESIR D’AMORE”: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28, March 1 and 3 p.m. March 2 at Drayton Hall Theatre, 1214 College St. Italian language performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera. Tickets are $25; seniors, USC faculty, staff and military, $20; students, $7. (803) 251-2222; http://www.capitoltickets.com
FRIDAY NIGHT DANCE: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Lourie Center, 1650 Park Circle (Maxcy Gregg Park). Live music by the Dancetimers. Admission is $10; $7 for Lourie Center members with membership cards. Open to the public age 21 and older; BYOB and snacks; hot coffee will be provided. (803) 779-1971; http://www.louriecentersc.com
ART DAY: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 1 at the State Museum, 301 Gervais St. Celebration of South Carolina art and artists will feature a day of hands-on activities, artist demonstrations, behind-the-scenes tours of the art collection, live music and more. Free with museum general museum or membership. http://www.scmuseum.org
PALLADIUM SOCIETY CHILI COOK-OFF: 5-8 p.m. March 1 at in the Ellison Building at the State Fairgrounds. Entry deadline is Feb. 25; $20 entry fee covers one chili entry plus two tickets (cook and one guest). Just tasting? Advance tickets are $30; $25 for Historic Columbia members; Paladium Society members, $15; all tickets $30 at the door (includes all you can eat and drink — chili, wine and beer). Proceeds will benefit Historic Columbia. (803) 252-7742, ext. 11; http://www.historiccolumbia.org
BATTLE OF THE BADGES: Charity basketball game and dinner, 5 p.m. March 1 at Gilbert High School, 840 Main St., Gilbert. Fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation will feature a team of Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies against a team of personnel from Lexington County Public Safety (fire service, emergency medical services and 911 communications center). Tickets are $8; includes spaghetti dinner, performance by magician John Tudor and the hoops contest. Tickets available at Fire Station 8, 103 Main St., Gilbert; Lexington County Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Price’s Country Store, 540 Peach Festival Road, Gilbert Middle School and Gilbert High. (803) 518-3073
“I DO! I DO!”: Newberry Community Players dinner theater musical, 6:30 p.m. March 1, 8; and 1 p.m. March 2, 9 in the Newberry Community Hall, 1209 Caldwell St., Newberry. The event is designed as if attendees are at an anniversary reception and will include gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts (cash bar). Tickets are $42; groups of 10 or more, $35 (803) 276-6264; http://www.newberryoperahouse.com
OPERA AT USC: “L’ESIR D’AMORE”: 7:30 p.m. March 1, 3 p.m. March 2 at Drayton Hall Theatre, 1214 College St. Italian language performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera. Tickets are $25; seniors, USC faculty, staff and military, $20; students, $7. (803) 251-2222; http://www.capitoltickets.com
New 2/ LEXINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY CITIZENS’ ACADEMY: Applications are being accepted for the next session, meeting 7 p.m. Tuesdays, March 4-May 13. Applicants must be age 18 and older, reside in Lexington County and have no serious crime conviction. Call (803) 785-2557; http://www.lex-co.com/sheriff/Application%20Public%20Safety%20Citizens%20Academy.pdf
THROWING FOR BEGINNERS AND INTERMEDIATES: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, March 5-April 9, at the Columbia Parks and Recreation Art Center, 1928 Calhoun St. Class provides opportunities for the students who want to learn about throwing pottery and those who want to brush up on their skills; maximum of nine students age 16 and older. $80; registration deadline is Thursday. (803) 545-3093 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERMEDIATE HAND BUILDING: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 6-April 10 at the Columbia Parks and Recreation Art Center, 1928 Calhoun St. Class will focus on more advanced hand building techniques such as working with different clays, using advanced decorative techniques and multiple shape projects. Participants are required to have a pottery tool kit; open to students age 16 and older. $80; includes all other materials. Registration deadline is Thursday. (803) 545-3093 or email email@example.com
WILDERNESS INVESTIGATIONS TEACHER WORKSHOP: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. March 8 at Congaree National Park, 100 National Park Road, Hopkins. Open to all grade level teachers; free, includes light breakfast and lunch. Instructor will be Steve Archibald, education specialist with the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center. Credits for Lexington 1 and Richland 1, contact other districts for approval. Registration deadline is Feb. 28; (803) 647-3969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THROWING FOR BEGINNERS: 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, March 11-April 15, at the Columbia Parks and Recreation Art Center, 1928 Calhoun St. Class provides opportunities for the students who want to learn about throwing pottery; maximum of nine students age 16 and older. $80; registration deadline is Thursday. (803) 545-3093 or email email@example.com