Center Stage: This week’s best bets

Friday, March 27 - Sunday, March 29

One of the biggest hunting and fishing events in the Midlands returns to the State Fairgrounds, noon-8 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. The Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will have more than 300 exhibitors with something for everyone, and the entertainment programs (the Comedy Canines, pictured above,Okefenokee Joe and his snakes) aim for the kids. Entry is $6, but kids 10 and younger get in free.

Friday, March 27

If the walls could talk: what do world-famous works of art sound like? Isla St. Clair, a traditional singer from Scotland, will perform songs to complement the Columbia Museum of Art’s exhibition, “Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces for the Davies Collection National Museum Wales” at 7 p.m. St. Clair will mix classic and contemporary numbers with comedic anecdotes. At Main and Hampton streets; $7 or $5 for museum members.

Admission into the exhibit will have an additional fee. (803) 799-2810 or Isla St. Clair

Saturday, March 28 - Monday, March 30

Switch up the usual dinner and movie routine and instead opt for brunch and a movie. The Nickelodeon Theatre, 937 Main St., is hosting the 2009 Jewish Film Festival all weekend. Movie-goers will enjoy seven Jewish-themed films Saturday, Sunday and Monday, including “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh.” The Sunday movie will begin with an 11 a.m. brunch at the Hunter Gatherer, 900 Main St.; the film will start immediately after brunch. Tickets to brunch and a movie are $30. For a list of moviesand times, visit

Saturday, March 28

Saluda Shoals Park celebrates spring with bluegrass music and barbecue at Pickin’ and Piggin’. The event runs 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and the barbecue is served 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Because there’s a barbecue cook-off, you have your choice of several styles. And you can walk off the food on the park’s miles of trails along the Saluda River near Irmo. Tickets are $10 per person in advance, $12 on the day of the event and $5 for children 12 and younger.

Slip into a sun dress, find your palmetto tree bow tie, load up the cooler and head to the race track — Carolina Cup gates open at 9 a.m. Rain or shine, ourbets are that this year’s Cup will be a fun-filled day. Wear comfortable shoes and leave glass containers at home. Post Time (or start) for the first of either 6 or 7 races is 1:30 p.m. Races run 35 minutes apart. General admission tickets: $40. 200 Knights Hill Road, Camden.

Sunday, March 29

Eat from the earth with help from Richland County Public Library. The Garden Like a Master hands-on series will teach attendees about growing veggies during the Small SpaceVegetable Gardening seminar at 3 p.m. The free session will be in the Bostick Auditorium at the Main Library, 1431 Assembly St. (803) 929-3457;

Tuesday, March 31

Watch out for the Boogie Man: The University of South Carolina is hosting a screening of “Boogie Man, The Lee Atwater Story” at 6:30 p.m. at Gambrell Hall, room 153, USC campus. The free movie will wrap up with refreshments and a panel discussion about Atwater, a South Carolina native who became chairman of the GOP and was known for his controversial political tactics. Samuel Tenenbaum, a longtime political activist, and Warren Tompkins, a political consultant and former aide to Gov. Carroll Campbell, will participate in the panel. (803) 777-3109

Thursday, April 2

Partner up and swing into the weekend at the Big Apple, 1000 Hampton St. The first Thursday of each month, Historic Columbia Foundation hosts Swing Dancing at the Big Apple. Local instructors Richard Durlach and Breedlove will teach dancers the steps to dances from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Lessons are 6-7 p.m. and conclude witha dance 7-10:30 p.m. Admission for lessons and the dance is $8 or $5 for students; admission to the dance only is $2 or $1 for students. (803) 252-1770, ext. 33