New Year's Events in Columbia, SC

by Rebekah Worsham
Columbia, SC celebrates with a New Year's Eve Carnival.

Columbia, SC celebrates with a New Year's Eve Carnival.

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The city of Columbia, South Carolina is an eclectic, family oriented community that hosts a variety of annual holiday events and celebrations throughout the year. The city's annual WOW New Year's Eve Carnival is no exception, as the city takes the opportunity to celebrate a new year.

Rides and Games

Downtown Columbia's Finlay Park transforms into a carnival each New Year's Eve as an array of amusement rides are set up. Featured attractions include bumper cars, electric swings, a merry-go-round and a classic, carnival-style Ferris wheel. While attractions vary from year to year, the festival typically also features a variety of traditional booth games such as the bottle toss, dart games and whack-a-mole.


No celebration would be complete without a variety of foods and the WOW event doesn't disappoint. The event hosts local restaurant vendors offering a variety of local and regional favorites, including fried chicken and catfish, in addition to traditional carnival-style favorites such as funnel cakes, ice cream, corn dogs and cotton candy. Because the annual event is designed for families, the selling or possession of alcoholic drinks is prohibited.

Live Entertainment

Each year, the WOW celebration hosts an array of local and regional musical artists who provide live entertainment for the event. Music varies by artist and includes the sounds of modern and classic country, rock, jazz and easy listening. The event also features a variety of clowns, magicians, fire eaters and other street performers in addition to local dance groups on hand to perform for the crowd.

Fireworks Display

The event culminates in a fireworks display, symbolizing welcoming a new year. Sponsored by the city, the display draws thousands of visitors who come to watch the fireworks light up the nighttime sky.

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