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Eat your way through the weekend at these 4 Columbia events

The State

If a food event is your idea of fun, this is your kind of weekend.

There are four very different food events, from a popular annual food truck and beer festival, to a new dinner series, to meals for good causes.

Dine Out for Life

Kick off the weekend Friday, April 28 with this annual event in which participating Columbia-area restaurants donate a flat fee or a portion of proceeds from breakfast, lunch and/or dinner to the S.C. HIV/AIDS Council for education outreach services. The funds stay in Columbia.

Pro tip: Participating restaurants are not only in Columbia but in other South Carolina cities, if you want to make a road trip of it.

Friday, April 28; other U.S. cities designate days for the promotion as well. www.schivaidscouncil.org, www.diningoutforlife.com or @DineOut4Life, #DiningOutForLife

Butcher Paper Dinner Series: Crawfish Boil

Looking for a casual event where you can eat with your hands? Check out this first-in-a-series Butcher Paper Dinner from the Farm to Table Events Company. It’s a friendly free-for-all as you gather ’round the table and eat directly from a pile of fresh steamed crawfish, corn on the cob, potatoes and other vegetables while enjoying some great local brews and live music.

Pro tip: If someone tells you to “suck it” at a crawfish boil, they mean get all of the meat out of the crawfish head. Really.

RELATED CONTENT: How to eat crawfish

3-7 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at City Roots, 1005 Airport Blvd. $45; cash and credit bar. Crawfish Boil ticket holders will receive free entry to the Rosewood Crawfish Festival on Saturday, May 7. www.farmtotableeventco.com

South Carolina Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

It’s baaaaack! If you want to nosh on a variety of foods – from barbecue to lobster – this event is for you.

Some of the participating food trucks from the Columbia area include A Matter of Taste, The BBQ Bus, Brain Freeze Italian Ice, Bucks Grill, Country Boy’s Fish & Grits, Crave CupCake Boutique on the GO, Cuzzo’s Cuisine, Doggie Bagz, Eric’s Que, Good Lookin’ Cookin’, Hog-N-Around BBQ, Island Sno Hut, Jive Turkey Legs, Jones-Zee Concessions, King of Pops, Lowcountry Lobster, Momo Gastrotruck, Pearls Wingz and Things, R&B Grill & Concession, San Jose on the Way, Street Spice Food Truck, Tacos Rico-o, Wurst Wagen, Time to Eat, Tropical Paradise, Wings & Dreams and 2 Fat 2 Fly.

Pro tip: It’s at the State Fairgrounds, which means limited seating at the picnic tables. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Noon-6 p.m., Saturday, April 29 at S.C. State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive. $5 in advance, $10 at gate; VIP ticket (early admission at 11 a.m., one free dessert, unlimited bottled water), $20 in advance, $25 at gate; children ages 12 and under free. www.foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com

Under the Table Spring Feast

Oak Table’s executive chef Todd Woods and executive chef Elliot Cusher of Indaco in Charleston pair a feast of five courses with beer from Fullstream Brewery. This dinner is part of a series held at Oak Table throughout the year to raise money for local charities. Proceeds from this dinner will go to Harmony School, a nonprofit private school in Forest Acres still trying to recover from the October 2015 floods.

Pro tip: Good food + charitable cause = a great way to spend a Sunday night.

6:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30 at Oak Table, 1221 Main St. $85. Reservations: (803) 563-5066. www.theoaktablesc.com

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