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://riverbanks.org
FREE DOCUMENT SHREDDING: 10 a.m.-noon Friday at Prudential-Midlands, 7011 Garners Ferry Road. Protect your identity by destroying confidential material. Shred360 will accept 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.
“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://afcolumbiasc.org
DARIUS RUCKER: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday at the Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St. The True Believers Tour will feature the Eli Young Band and special guest David Nail. Tickets are $34.50, $39.50 and $49.50. (855) 456-2849; http://LMCtix.com
“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 different 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
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://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://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 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://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://uucoffeehouse.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 different 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
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://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://afcolumbiasc.org
AN AFTERNOON WITH STEINWAY SERIES: Pianists Enjung Choi and Yoosun Kang in concert, 3 p.m. Sunday2/23 at Rice Music House, Village at Sandhill. Free, but seating is limited, RSVP at (803) 254-2777; http://ricemusichouse.com/
“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 different 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
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://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
WORLD SPAY DAY “YAPPY HOUR”: 4-8 p.m. Tuesday at Jake’s of Columbia, 2112 Devine St. Pets and pet owners are invited for special food and drink prices. All attendees will be entered into drawings for gifts and prizes and will receive spay/neuter discount coupons if they need them. A percentage of sales will be donated to the Humane Society.
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
LEE MALERICH’S “LAYERS”: One-woman show of fiber art and sculpture at A Pocket Gallery, Middleborough Condominiums, 1825 St. Julian Place, Suite D. An opening reception is planned for Wednesday. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. (803) 790-7040; http://www.apocketgallery.com
MAKE IT, BAKE IT, GROW IT, SEW IT: Live auction to benefit the Shepherd’s Center of Columbia, noon-2 p.m. Wednesday in the Leisure Ministries Building at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. (803) 779-4449; http://shepherdcentercolumbia.org
“THE 39 STEPS”: Through 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 different characters in the Tony Award winning whodunit. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Feb. 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. Thursday 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. Thursday 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.
ARTIST RECEPTION: 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Hallway: Community Gallery, 701 Whaley St. Join Grace Rockafellow for food and wine and get a sneak peek of her prints and drawings. The exhibit will be up through April 27.
SYRIAN REFUGEE RELIEF BENEFIT: 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Conundrum Music Hall, 626 Meeting St. The event will feature authentic Syrian food and a presentation by photojournalist Thomas Hammond who traveled to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey last fall. Sponsored by the Carolina Peace Resource Center. Free, but a suggested donation would be $10-$20. All proceeds benefit charities working with Syrian refugees. RSVP: (803) 216-1448; http://carolinapeace.org
LIVE WITH PAT CONROY: 7 p.m. Thursday 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://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://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://louriecentersc.com
“IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR”: Educational symposium, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. March 1 at Eau Claire High School, 4800 Monticello Road. Dr. Montrio Belton will deliver the keynote address. Sessions on relationships, sex, Common Core standards, cyberbullying and an educational forum on the Affordable Care Act. Sponsored by the Richland County Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (803) 315-8962
COMMUNITY MEETING: 9-11 a.m. March 1 at Friendship Baptist Church, 2604 Lower Richland Blvd. The event will include discussion of Lower Richland issues and concerns; information on the Affordable Care Act; voter registration/information updates and free voter photo IDs will be provided by the Richland County Voter Registration & Election Commission. Refreshments will be served. (803) 318-8857
“MUSEUMS ON US” WEEKEND: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 1 and noon-5 p.m. March 2 at EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. Bank of America cardholders will be admitted for free; regular admission applies to additional guests. $11.50; age 62 and older and military with ID, $10.50; members and children 12 months and younger, free. (803) 779-3100; http://edventure.org
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. www.scmuseum.org
HOSPITAL OPEN HOUSE: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, 400 Palmetto Health Parkway. Hospital tours, samples of fresh, local food that will be served at the hospital; musical entertainment and a souvenir. (803) 434-4482; http://experiencebaptistparkridge.com
PARTY ANIMALS MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. March 1 at City Roots, 1005 Airport Blvd. Gates open at 11 a.m., the parade starts at noon (staging begins at 9:30 a.m.); festival will feature music, food and beverages for sale and a kids zone. $10; children age 12 and younger and dogs will be admitted free. Proceeds will benefit The Animal Mission in its efforts to provide free and discounted spay/neuter programs across the Midlands. (803) 929-6650; http://partyanimalsmardigras.com
PALLADIUM SOCIETY CHILI COOK-OFF: 5-8 p.m. March 1 at in the Ellison Building at the State Fairgrounds. Entry deadline is Tuesday; $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; Palladium 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://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://newberryoperahouse.com
PALMETTO OPERA PRESENTS “CARMEN”: 7 p.m. March 1 at the Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St. Peformance by Teatro Lirico d’Europa, the performance will be sung in French with English supertitles. Tickets are $45; children, military and students, $35. Come early for a 6 p.m. pre-show chat with Giorgio Lalov, founder and executive director of Teatro. (803) 251-2222; http://capitoltickets.com
OPERA AT USC: “L’ESIR D’AMORE”: 7:30 p.m. 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://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
BEER 101: 6-8 p.m. Thursdays, March 6-27 at the Lourie Center, 1650 Park Circle.. Explore the history and production of various styles of ales and lagers and enjoy a variety of beer tastings. $40 or $12 per class. Open to members and the public age 50 and older. Pre-registration is required. (803) 779-1971; http://louriecentersc.com/activities/regular-classes/
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