NEWS & Happenings

  • The Vista Celebrates the Outdoors with River Runner Anniversary and Fireflies

    May 15, 2023

    Two celebrations will take place in The Vista the weekend of May 19th – River Runner Outdoor Center anniversary and Congaree National Park’s synchronous fireflies celebration.

    Two celebrations will take place in The Vista the weekend of May 19th – River Runner Outdoor Center anniversary and Congaree National Park’s synchronous fireflies celebration.

     

    River Runner Outdoor Center in The Vista marks its 40th anniversary Saturday, May 20th with coffee and biscuits at 10 a.m., ice cream and cake at 3 p.m., special artwork by Susan Lenz made from kayak shipping material, Congaree National Park watercolor exhibit by Stephen Chesley and 40% off many River Runner items. Owner Guy Jones founded the shop for paddle sports products and services in 1983, after a background with environmental organizations that included promoting canoe trips on the Saluda River.

     

    "I feel very fortunate to have experienced 40 years of developing and operating a small business that many people seem to really appreciate," said Guy. "What I enjoy the most is sharing a passion for experiencing beautiful natural areas through paddling a kayak or canoe. Cedar Creek in Congaree National Park is my favorite place to paddle. There is magic in the dark waters slowly flowing under huge trees - the cypress and tupelo canopy just pulls you into a different world."

     

    The weekend is also the Vista’s annual partnership with Congaree National Park and its celebration of the synchronous fireflies.

     

    Every year the fireflies at Congaree National Park synchronize their glow for a few weeks in the spring. These species of fireflies, Photuris frontalis, are one of only three North American fireflies that behave in such a way.

     

    “We are excited to partner with a local treasure: Congaree National Park. The work the park does to bring such a wonderful asset to our community is unmatched,” said Vista Guild Executive Director, Abby Anderson. “With the lottery to see the fireflies in place, we wanted to create a way that more members of our community could still get together to celebrate these creatures.”

     

    Personal flashing lights can be picked up at various Vista businesses during the week of May 15, including the Columbia SC Visitor’s Center, Boku Kitchen and Saloon, PAG Marketing, Rita’s Italian Ice, City Art, Integrity Ink and Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea. Integrity Ink will give $25 off a tattoo on May 19 and 20 when you mention the fireflies and 15% will be donated to the Congaree National Park! The community is encouraged to bring the lights back to The Vista on the evenings of May 19 and May 20 to celebrate the fireflies at Congaree National Park.

     

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC.

    For more information about Congaree National Park, go to www.nps.gov/cong/fireflies.htm.

    For more information about River Runner Outdoor Center, visit ShopRiverRunner.com.

  • THE 31ST ANNUAL ARTISTA VISTA RETURNS ON APRIL 14TH - 16TH

    March 28, 2023

    Artista Vista returns to the heart of Columbia’s historic Vista District for an art-filled weekend on April 14th - 16th. This weekend-long art extravaganza emphasizes local artists and galleries, live performance, community engagement, and the rich culture of South Carolina’s capital city.  

    Artista Vista returns to the heart of Columbia’s historic Vista District for an art-filled weekend on April 14th - 16th. This weekend-long art extravaganza emphasizes local artists and galleries, live performance, community engagement, and the rich culture of South Carolina’s capital city.  

     

    The event will kick off with a free Art Gallery Crawl from 6-9 PM on Friday, April 14th spanning across The Vista District. Event-goers are also invited to enjoy live music from Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band outside of Blue Marlin on Lincoln Street, courtesy of Grace Outdoor Advertising. Live demonstrations, music, art vendors, and more will also be present in the Huger Street Cluster of art galleries. 

     

    Offerings continue on April 15th for Art Day, a free event located at Stormwater Studios, Lewis + Clark, and One Eared Cow (1001 Huger Street/413 Pendleton Street). Visitors will enjoy a day of live music while viewing collections and live demonstrations by esteemed local artists. 

     

    Additionally, the Light and Lantern Parade will take place later that evening from 8-9 PM. Beginning at the entrance of the Lincoln Street Tunnel, participants will stroll through The Vista with hand-made lanterns in tow while Partly Cloudy leads the public through the streets. Participants are strongly encouraged to visit one of the “creation stations” during the day at either Stormwater Studios or the Richland Library, or on Lincoln Street that evening to construct their own lanterns and enjoy music from a local DJ before the parade begins. 

     

    Artista Vista concludes on Sunday, April 16th with two offerings. Crafty Feast, a free juried craft fair, takes place from 11AM-4PM on the corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets (1300 Lincoln Street), where art-lovers can purchase local art and other gifts from local makers. The weekend rounds out with Live on Lincoln from 5-8PM. This beloved finale event includes a fantastic dinner by Blue Marlin paired with a one-of-a-kind live performance of song and dance on the cobblestones of Lincoln Street. Tickets are required for Live on Lincoln.

     

    In addition to this weekend-long affair of artistic celebration, local artist, Brittany Watkins, will create multiple outdoor, public art installations using found objects in various locations throughout The Vista including the Columbia Visitors Center and near the Lincoln Street Tunnel.

     

    Members of the community are strongly encouraged to participate in Artista Vista ‘23 and follow The Vista on social media for more information, updates, behind-the-scenes, and more at @vistacolumbiasc on Instagram and fb.com/vistacolumbiasc. The event schedule and more can be found on The Vista’s official website, vistacolumbia.com.

  • Vista Neighborhood Association’s First Annual Alley Golf Tournament

    March 10, 2023

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Vista Guild are hosting the 1st Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista. 

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Vista Guild (VG) are hosting the 1st Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista. The event has 3 mini golf holes which will be set up in 3 different Vista alleyways. Players will have a chance to win 1st and 2nd place prizes and also win prizes through random drawings.

     

    Thursday April 6, 2023 during Masters Week. 4PM until 8PM. 
    Players purchase a scorecard for $10 and can play each hole in any order they choose. Players turn in the score card and score after playing 3 holes. 
    VNA will also randomly draw winners from competed score cards, regardless of the total score. Winners do not have to be present to win. Prize event is for 18-years-old and up. 

     

    The 3 locations are:
    The Hyatt Place – 819 Gervais Street Headquarters for this event 
    Twisted Spur – 705 Gervais Street
    Old Chicago – 802 Gervais Street

     

    Thanks to our Hole Sponsors for the event:

    Hyatt Place 

    BP Skinner Clothiers

    Vista Property Management 

     

    For more information about participating in the event, please reach out to Jim Colwell with the Vista Neighborhood Association at (864) 616-8836. View full details on the event here.

     

     

  • Vista Guild to Host Art Dedication February 23

    February 16, 2023

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the dedication of a new urban canvas art installation in the Vista. On Thursday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m., the canvas will be dedicated outside the Art Bar at 1211 Park Street.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the dedication of a new urban canvas art installation in the Vista. On Thursday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m., the canvas will be dedicated outside the Art Bar at 1211 Park Street.

     

    The urban canvas is part of an ongoing exchange between artists in Columbia and sister city, Kaiserslautern, Germany. The late Wim Roefs was a key supporter of this partnership and was instrumental in heralding public and private art projects. There will be a toast to Roefs immediately following the dedication.

     

    Contributing artists on this project from Kaiserslautern include Gela Steinmacher, Roland Albert, Klaus Hartmann, Reiner Mährlein, Jörg Heieck and Sylvia Rudolf. Columbia artists include David H. Yahjian, Eileen Blyth and Stephen Chesley.

     

     This art is made possible through funding provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta and 701 Center for Contemporary Arts. Coordination and support have been provided by local artist and owner of Mike Brown Contemporary, Michaela Pilar Brown.

  • Third Thursday in the Vista to Feature Open Art Studios

    December 09, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host a holiday-themed Third Thursday event on December 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature open art studios throughout the area as well as some pop-up local artists perfect for holiday shopping. 

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host a holiday-themed Third Thursday event on December 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature open art studios throughout the area as well as some pop-up local artists perfect for holiday shopping. 

     

    Stormwater Studios will offer a Tibetan Bazaar Tuesday through Friday, December 13-16, as well as the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala. Guests can stop by throughout the week, including Third Thursday, to witness the progression of the mandala which is a Drepung Loseling Monastery Production. Sales from the Tibetan Bazaar will support the mission of the monastery.  

     

    Other participating studios include Lewis & Clark, which will host pop-up artists (including local artist Cait Maloney), Mike Williams Art and One Eared Cow Glass. Gifts of art by local artists will be available at all participating studios. 

  • Dumpster Mule to Hold Toys for Tots Drive at Vista Lights November 17

    November 03, 2022

    The 37th annual Vista Lights will have a new feature this year – a toy drive for Toys for Tots in partnership with Dumpster Mule. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., a festively decorated dumpster will be located in the Kids Zone on Lincoln Street for new, unwrapped toys.

    The 37th annual Vista Lights presented by Prisma Health will have a new feature this year – a toy drive for Toys for Tots in partnership with Dumpster Mule. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., a festively decorated dumpster will be located in the Kids Zone on Lincoln Street for new, unwrapped toys.

     

    “Our hope is that by the end of the evening, the dumpster will be completely full of new toys for local children in need,” said Trevor Bowers with Dumpster Mule. “People want to help others during the holidays, and we wanted to make it easy for them. Having the drive at Vista Lights was the perfect solution.”

     

    In addition to the toy drive, Santa Claus will be in the Kids Zone for visits with children and photos. The Carillon Carolers will also be strolling throughout the area entertaining guests.

     

    The annual tree lighting will be on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

     

    Participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 16.

     

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • 37th Annual Vista Lights presented by Prisma Health to be Held November 17

    October 18, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 37th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 37th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

     

    Performances by local groups will take place on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

     

    Santa Claus will be on site at the kid’s area on Lincoln Street from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Carillon Carolers will stroll through the Vista entertaining visitors. Easel Cathedral will be on site painting the event live as well.

     

    Throughout the evening, participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 16.

     

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • Third Thursday Returns to The Vista

    September 07, 2022

    Columbia, SC – The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the return of Third Thursday Art Night on Thursday, September 15 from 5-8 p.m.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the return of Third Thursday Art Night on Thursday, September 15 from 5-8 p.m.

     

    Patrons will be able to enjoy displays at Lewis + Clark, One Eared Cow Glass, Stormwater Studios, and Mike Williams Art. Koger Center for Arts will be debuting their new plaza stage with an Aretha Franklin tribute band and the opening of the Laura Spong exhibit in the Koger Center Gallery.

     

    “We are excited to once again offer Third Thursday Art Night in the Vista,” said Abby Anderson, Executive Director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “This is a great night for local artists to showcase their talents and for people to come enjoy all The Vista has to offer.”

     

    Here is a full list of participating businesses:

    Lewis + Clark- 1001 Huger Street. With guest artist Bohumila Augustinova

    One Eared Cow Glass- 1001 Huger Street. Come enjoy new designs for the fall season and observe a glass blowing class

    Stormwater Studios- 413 Pendleton Street.  Enjoy a meet and greet with the exhibiting artist, Phil Garrett.

    Mike Williams Art- 1221 Lincoln Street. Visit the Vista's newest art gallery & studio

    Koger Center for the Arts- 1051 Greene Street.  Don't miss the premiere of the Plaza Stage with a live band at 6pm and the opening of the Laura Spong exhibit in the Koger Center's Gallery.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Invites You to Be a Firefly

    May 10, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild invites you to be a Firefly in The Vista. In partnership with Congaree National Park, the Vista Guild invites patrons to celebrate the annual synchronous fireflies on May 20 and 21.  

    The Congaree Vista Guild invites you to be a Firefly in The Vista. In partnership with Congaree National Park, the Vista Guild invites patrons to celebrate the annual synchronous fireflies on May 20 and 21.  

     

    “We are excited to partner with a local treasure: Congaree National Park. The work the park does to bring such a wonderful asset to our community is unmatched,” said Vista Guild Executive Director, Abby Anderson. “With the lottery to see the fireflies this year in place, we wanted to create a way that more members of our community could still get together to celebrate these creatures.”  

     

    Every year the fireflies at Congaree National Park synchronize their glow for a few weeks in the spring. These species of fireflies, Photuris frontalis, are one of only three North American fireflies that behave in such a way.  

     

    "We are thrilled to once more work alongside the Vista Guild and our local communities to celebrate the arrival of the synchronized fireflies at Congaree National Park. As this increasingly iconic period of the late spring continues to draw more people each year from around the country to the city of Columbia and the surrounding area, it is exciting that we can join with our local communities to celebrate one of the unique features that makes our region of South Carolina special," said acting Superintendent Stephen Akins. 

     

    Personal flashing lights can be picked up at various Vista businesses during the week of May 15. The community is encouraged to bring these back to The Vista on the evenings of May 20 and 21 to celebrate the fireflies at Congaree National Park. 

     

    Lights for this event can be picked up at:

    • Art Bar (1211 Park Street)
    • CMFA  (914 Pulaski Street)
    • CPR Cell Phone Repair (506 Gervais Street)
    • Experience Columbia SC Visitor Center (1120 LIncoln Street)
    • Rita's Italian Ice (800 Lady Street)
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady Street)

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC.  

     

    For more information about Congaree National Park, go to www.nps.gov/cong/fireflies.htm.

  • The Congaree Vista District Celebrates 30 Years of Artista Vista, April 22-24

    March 29, 2022

    This April marks 30 years of Artista Vista, the weekend-long celebration of the Congaree Vista district’s vibrant art scene, happening April 22-24. The event continues to highlight incredible artists in the Midlands, and encourages locals and newcomers alike to explore studio spaces, meet the makers and even take home their own handmade pieces.

    This April marks 30 years of Artista Vista, the weekend-long celebration of the Congaree Vista district’s vibrant art scene, happening April 22-24. The event continues to highlight incredible artists in the Midlands, and encourages locals and newcomers alike to explore studio spaces, meet the makers and even take home their own handmade pieces. A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found on The Vista’s website.

     

    “It’s an experience,” says Clark Ellefson, principal designer and owner of Lewis+Clark, and one of the original organizers of Artista Vista. “It’s a gathering of people from all walks of life who can come together to enjoy and appreciate art and support their community.”

     

    Artista Vista features local artists and their spaces, and brings makers beyond the Midlands to the district for the weekend. Artists and gallery owners will be on-site to chat with visitors, giving attendees insight into their work.

     

    Events in store for the 30th annual Artista Vista include:

     

    • Art Gallery Crawl (April 22, 6-9 p.m.): This signature Artista Vista event is a chance for guests to explore The Vista’s one-of-a-kind galleries and pop-up galleries, as well as the district’s restaurants, bars and shops. Studios involved in the gallery crawl include the following:
    • Light and Lantern Parade (April 22, 8-9 p.m.): Another signature event — the Light and Lantern Parade — will kick off the weekend of festivities, and is back in-person for 2022. Guests are welcome to watch or join the parade at the entrance of the Lincoln Street tunnel. A crafts table will be on-site for those who want to create their own lantern for the event.
    • Art Day (April 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.): The celebration continues on Saturday with Art Day at the Stormwater Studios campus on Huger Street. Guests are invited to explore the campus, watch art demonstrations, shop for handmade pieces and enjoy food, live entertainment on-site and an artist talk from international, award-winning artist Nora Valdez.
    • Crafty Feast (April 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.): The final day of Artista Vista brings Crafty Feast, the juried indie craft fair showcasing 50+ makers from across the Southeast. This open-air craft fair showcases funky, one-of-a-kind offerings and unique gifts available for purchase. This year’s vendor list brings handmade goods ranging from jewelry, apparel and bags to home décor, candles, ceramics and more. The 2022 makers’ list will be posted on the Crafty Feast website.
    • Live on Lincoln (April 24, 5-8 p.m.): Artista Vista concludes on Sunday evening with the Koger Center’s Live on Lincoln. This outdoor, ticketed event presented by LS3P will bring live performances by some of the Midlands finest arts and cultural organizations to the historic cobblestones of Lincoln Street, alongside drinks and dinner served tableside by Blue Marlin. More information and tickets can be foundhere.  

     

    “We’re really excited for this year’s Artista Vista,” says Abby Anderson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “For the last 30 years, this event has been a major part of our community, and we want to keep up that tradition and continue to solidify this area as a prominent arts district.”

     

    Artista Vista is produced by the Vista Guild and would not be possible without support from its sponsors, including the City of Columbia, Experience Columbia SC, Columbia Craft, Steel Hands Brewing, KW Beverageand Grace Outdoor.

     

    For more information about Artista Vista, visit https://www.vistacolumbia.com/special-events/artista-vista.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Installs New Sculpture

    February 14, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the installation of Motherhood, a new sculpture by Nora Valdez, on the corner of Lady and Gadsden Streets in the heart of the Congaree Vista. The project was facilitated by One Columbia for Arts and Culture.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the installation of Motherhood, a new sculpture by Nora Valdez, on the corner of Lady and Gadsden Streets in the heart of the Congaree Vista. The project was facilitated by One Columbia for Arts and Culture.

     

    The sculpture, carved from Indiana limestone, represents all mothers – working mothers, immigrant mothers, single mothers – and their strength in holding families together while staying firmly rooted in their determination. Sculptor Nora Valdez is an international award-winning artist originally from Argentina, but currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts.

     

    “My sculptures of people do not have facial features,” said Valdez. “Going beyond suggesting any specific face as a representation of beauty (or measure of value) for women, my work challenges the viewer to see the faceless woman as every woman. Woman as an archetype. Woman as a force. The concept of woman as mother is one that everyone can connect to. The ideal of mother as love and nurture and protection is universal, especially in the face of challenge.”

     

    A dedication event will be hosted as part of the Congaree Vista Guild’s 30th annual Artista Vista, which takes place April 22-24, 2022.

  • Vista Improvement Projects Nearing Completion

    December 14, 2021

    New development is occurring in the Congaree Vista with improvement projects nearing completion and new businesses opening soon.

    Columbia, SC – New development is occurring in the Congaree Vista with improvement projects nearing completion and new businesses opening soon.

    The Park Street beautification project is essentially finished with ADA compliant sidewalks and landscaping. Additionally, outdoor seating for visitors and improved lighting are still to come. Restaurants along the street are open for guests. Improvements have made the area more welcoming and attractive to Vista patrons.

    Boku Kitchen and Saloon, a taco and ramen restaurant, will be opening soon at 916 Gervais Street. It is dog-friendly and offers igloo dining outdoors for year-round seating.

    The Donut Guy will be opening soon at 1215 Lincoln Street, offering hot mini yeast/cake donuts with a variety of toppings (including maple glaze and bacon).

    Cambria Hotel, part of the Choice Hotel chain, will be opening in the spring of 2022 at the corner of Park and Lady Streets.

    City Grit is a new food and specialty market offering artisan goods, house-made dips, sweets, beer, wine and gifts. It also offers gourmet take-away and family meals, including seasonal and holiday dinners. It is now open at 707 Gervais Street.

    The Greene Street Phase II improvement project taking place in the Congaree Vista is scheduled for completion in January. It is part of an overall plan by community and business leaders to open downtown Columbia to the Congaree Riverfront. Visitors to the area will see much-needed improvements including more pedestrian and bike access to the area.

    Part of the Richland County Transportation Penny Program, the project is a $21.2M project that continues improvements along Greene Street from Gadsden to Assembly Streets. It includes the addition of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Huger to Gadsden Streets as well as the construction of a new two-lane bridge with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes over the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroads to reconnect Greene Street.

    The installation of a shade structure along the bridge over the sidewalks is expected to be installed by June of 2022. At that time, Greene Street will be open to drivers and pedestrians. Devine and Gadsden Streets at the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroad crossings will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians once the Greene Street bridge is open.

  • 36th Annual Vista Lights to be Held November 18

    October 15, 2021

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 36th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 18 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is returning to its original format after COVID-19 adjustments in 2020, thanks to event sponsors Stella Artois, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Arnold Companies.

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 36th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 18 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is returning to its original format after COVID-19 adjustments in 2020, thanks to event sponsors Stella Artois, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Arnold Companies.

    Performances by local groups will take place on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

    Santa Claus will be on site at the kid’s area on Lincoln Street from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Carillon Carolers will stroll through the Vista entertaining visitors. Easel Cathedral will be on site painting the event live as well.

    Throughout the evening, participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 17.

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • Sister Hazel to Perform in Vista After 5 Series

    September 28, 2021

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that Sister Hazel will perform the final concert of the Vista After Five concert series on Thursday, October 21 at Tin Roof. Tokyo Joe, Dear Blanca and Whit’s End each perform in the weeks leading up to the finale. All concerts are free and are presented by Pink Whitney, Fireball, Skrewball, Gameday Vodka, Larceny and Wicked Weed. The shows begin at 5:30 p.m.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that Sister Hazel will perform the final concert of the Vista After Five concert series on Thursday, October 21 at Tin Roof. Tokyo Joe, Dear Blanca and Whit’s End each perform in the weeks leading up to the finale. All concerts are free and are presented by Pink Whitney, Fireball, Skrewball, Gameday Vodka, Larceny and Wicked Weed. The shows begin at 5:30 p.m.

     

    Originating from Gainesville, FL, Sister Hazel has been called "one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years" by Performing Songwriter Magazine. Their song, "All for You," topped the adult alternative charts during the summer of 1997 and the success propelled their album to platinum status. Since then, the band has become firmly established not only in rock and alternative music, but also in country with four back-to-back Billboard Top Country Albums Chart entries.

     

    “We’re delighted to have Sister Hazel as part of our Vista After 5 concert series this year,” said Abby Anderson, Executive Director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “Our lineup has been filled with well-known bands from all genres, and Sister Hazel is the perfect band for the finale.”

     

    All shows are outdoors and begin at 5:30 p.m. at Tin Roof, 1022 Senate Street, Columbia. For more information about Vista events, visit VistaColumbia.com.

  • Opus and the Frequencies to Open Vista After 5 Series

    September 10, 2021

    The popular concert series, Vista After Five, begins its 2021 fall season on September 23 at Tin Roof with Opus and the Frequencies. All shows are outdoors and are presented by Pink Whitney, Fireball, Skrewball, Gameday Vodka, Larceny and Wicked Weed. The shows begin at 5:30 p.m.

    The popular concert series, Vista After Five, begins its 2021 fall season on September 23 at Tin Roof with Opus and the Frequencies. All shows are outdoors and are presented by Pink Whitney, Fireball, Skrewball, Gameday Vodka, Larceny and Wicked Weed. The shows begin at 5:30 p.m.

     

    “We’re so excited to bring the Vista After 5 series back this year,” said Abby Anderson, Executive Director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We know that music lovers in Columbia will enjoy returning to Tin Roof this fall to hear this great lineup of local bands.”

     

    Opus and the Frequencies (O+F) is a genre-bending band from Columbia. According to the group, what began as a series of casual jam sessions has evolved into a mission to craft songs that reflect their diverse musical and personal backgrounds.

     

    Following Opus and the Frequencies, the Vista After 5 schedule includes:

     

    Tokyo Joe on September 30 - Formed in 1996, Tokyo Joe has independently released 6 CDs, and performs an average of 200 shows a year in the Southeast. A Columbia-based rock group, the band credits musicians like Billy Joel and Elton John as early influencers.

     

    Dear Blanca – October 7- Dear Blanca retrofits post-punk grit with wide ranging rhythmic feel in their music, according to the band.

     

    Whit’s End – October 14 -Whit’s End is the current Carolina Country Entertainer of the year from Kershaw, SC. They have opened for Eric Church, Old Dominion, LANCO, Randy Houser, David Lee Murphy and more. Whit’s End brings a high energy mix of old favorites and new releases to their performances.

     

    The show for October 21 is to be determined.

     

    All shows are outdoors and begin at 5:30 p.m. at Tin Roof, 1022 Senate Street, Columbia.

  • Park Street Beautification Underway

    August 16, 2021

    A major renovation and beautification project is underway on Park Street in the Vista between Gervais and Senate Streets, facing several Vista restaurants.

    Columbia, SC – A major renovation and beautification project is underway on Park Street in the Vista between Gervais and Senate Streets, facing several Vista restaurants.

     

    Sidewalks, landscaping, enhanced lighting and outdoor seating areas will be added to provide a better experience for patrons in the area. The restaurants along Park Street, including The Oyster Bar of Columbia, Republic Biergarten & Kitchen, Pot Smokers BBQ, Monterrey Mexican Restaurant and Pearlz Oyster Bar, are open during the construction.

     

    “This will be a delightful improvement for pedestrians in the area,” said Rosie Craig, long-standing board member and founding member of The Congaree Vista Guild. “It’s a long-awaited project that has been in development for many years and is now going to happen. The City of Columbia staff have been incredibly helpful.”

     

    The project is scheduled to be completed by this fall, according to Kristen Puckett, City of Columbia Construction Coordinator.

  • Artista Vista Returns April 16-18 in Columbia‚Äôs Official Arts and Cultural District

    March 16, 2021

    April 16-18, the Vista Guild’s Artista Vista will honor the vibrancy and resiliency of the district with a celebration that is bigger and more inclusive than ever before. With health and public safety a priority, the event will take to the streets and to the screen to offer residents the chance to create, enjoy, shop and dine in the city’s only neighborhood to receive an official Cultural District designation from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Artista Vista will include an online lantern-creation workshop, an art gallery crawl, the inaugural Art Day celebration on the Stormwater Studios campus, and the Koger Center’s Live on Lincoln concert; it will also be the new home for the region’s most eclectic indie craft fair — Crafty Feast.

    April 16-18, the Vista Guild’s Artista Vista will honor the vibrancy and resiliency of the district with a celebration that is bigger and more inclusive than ever before. With health and public safety a priority, the event will take to the streets and to the screen to offer residents the chance to create, enjoy, shop and dine in the city’s only neighborhood to receive an official Cultural District designation from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Artista Vista will include an online lantern-creation workshop, an art gallery crawl, the inaugural Art Day celebration on the Stormwater Studios campus, and the Koger Center’s Live on Lincoln concert; it will also be the new home for the region’s most eclectic indie craft fair — Crafty Feast. Find more information about the weekend’s events below, and at vistacolumbia.com/special-events/artista-vista. 

     

    “Creativity drives The Vista, and over the past year our business-owners have drawn on that creativity to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19,” says executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild, Abby Anderson. “We are thrilled to offer a fresh take on Artista Vista that celebrates our artistic roots, while protecting the community’s health and safety.”

     

    Family-Friendly Online Paper Lantern Creation Workshop — Free — April 16-18

    Pull out the craft bin! Local artist Flavia Lovatelli is offering an online, on-demand workshop for makers of all ages to learn how to create gorgeous, decorative paper lanterns at home. As a bonus, Lovatelli will offer clever ideas for personalizing your face mask. This virtual, at-home event provides fun for the entire family. The videos will go live in early April on the Vista’s YouTube channel, then wear your newly decorated masks and bring your lanterns to the Vista during the weekend’s live events. 

     

    Art Gallery Crawl — Free — Friday, April 16, 5-9 p.m.

    This event, which runs until 9 p.m., is a prime opportunity to explore regional artists and to add beautiful work to your own home art collection. The Vista’s distinctive galleries and a number of pop up galleries will display new shows or exhibits, and visitors can make it a full night by dining at a Vista eatery before or after the crawl. 

     

    All patrons, vendors and businesses participating in Artista Vista events are required to properly wear a face mask. Galleries will enforce social distancing and encourage use of hand sanitizer. 

     

    For those who are more comfortable celebrating from home, virtual gallery tours will be available on the Vista’s YouTube channel, and a podcast featuring a walking tour of Vista art galleries will be available at TBD.

     

    Art Day — Free — Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

    Artista Vista continues on Saturday with Art Day on the Stormwater Studios campus. Visitors will be welcomed into studio spaces — including Lewis + Clark and One Eared Cow Glass — to discover collections and view live demonstrations. Getting to Art Day is easy — The COMET’s Sod Cap Connector will offer a free route to Stormwater Studios campus from the Vista. 

     

    Live music from Amy & the Willie Wood Chips will fill the air while guests peruse and purchase local art. Beverage South’s beer wagon and A Matter of Taste, Dupre Catering’s food truck, will charm your taste buds with culinary artistry. 

     

    As at the gallery crawl, masks will be required, social distancing will be enforced and hand sanitizer will be provided. This event will take place rain or shine. 

     

    Crafty Feast — Free — Sunday, April 18, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

    One of the most popular craft festivals in the Midlands returns with a new venue, new partnership and new admission price — free! Crafty Feast showcases funky, one-of-a-kind offerings and unique gifts from jury-selected vendors. The event will take place outdoors at the corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets with a beer wagon and local food vendors available. The first 250 patrons will receive a free Crafty Feast tote bag thanks to support from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. 

     

    A comprehensive safety plan has been put in place for Crafty Feast. The vendor limit has been capped at 50 to allow for six feet of distance between each booth. Touchless payment is encouraged, and guests are asked to refrain from making purchases with cash. Vendors will sanitize all equipment between guest use. Masks are required for all patrons and vendors, and hand sanitizer will be provided. Patrons and vendors are encouraged to use hand sanitizer often during the event. Social distancing will be enforced. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. 

     

    Live on Lincoln — Ticketed — Sunday, April 18, 5-7 p.m. 

    Artista Vista’s finale is Live on Lincoln, presented by The Koger Center on Sunday evening at 5 p.m. This outdoor, socially-distanced performance will take place on the cobblestones of Lincoln Street with dinner by Blue Marlin served to tables of up to four guests. Entertainment will include renowned local arts organizations like the South Carolina Philharmonic, Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, ColaJazz, Trustus Theatre, Town Theatre, Columbia Children's Theatre, Bruch Chamber Orchestra, Opera at USC and the University of South Carolina Concert Choir. 

     

    Proceeds raised from the Koger Center Live on Lincoln will directly support the participating arts and culture organizations as they navigate the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts industry. Tickets will be sold in groups; $280 for a table of four and $160 for a table of two. Patrons who purchase tickets in person at the Koger Center Box Office or by calling the box office 803-777-5112 will get $20 off their purchase. 

     

    Enjoying the Vista is Easy

    All weekend, the Soda Cap Connector will be available (and free!) to transport patrons to the Vista from other parts of town and throughout the Vista. As Artista Vista’s transportation partner, The COMET’s Soda Cap Connector makes getting to the Vista simple and more accessible to the community. Parking for Artista Vista is available in the parking garage behind Aloft at Washington and Lincoln Streets. City parking meters are free after 6 p.m.  Dinner reservations are recommended, as restaurants in the Vista currently operate with COVID-safe capacity restrictions.

     

    The Vista has been synonymous with art since the early 1980s, when artists began to move their studios to the area's affordable abandoned warehouse spaces. Today's restaurants, shopping and nightlife in the historic buildings along Gervais Street are still driven by the Vista's creative energy. Artista Vista is produced by the Vista Guild and would not be possible without support from presenting sponsors City of Columbia and Experience Columbia SC as well as other community-focused corporate citizens like Boston Beer, New Belgium Brewing, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Soda Cap Connector.

  • Vista Guild Announces 35th Annual Vista Lights

    November 10, 2020

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host the 35th Annual Vista Lights as a week-long event from Monday, November 16 through Sunday, November 22. Vista Lights is the annual open house event in the Congaree Vista. 

    COLUMBIA, S.C.—The Congaree Vista Guild will host the 35th Annual Vista Lights as a week-long event from Monday, November 16 through Sunday, November 22. Vista Lights is the annual open house event in the Congaree Vista. 

     

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some changes are coming to Vista Lights this year. Vista galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday best throughout the week. These businesses follow COVID-19 protocols to help keep you safe. The Vista tree outside of River Runner Outdoor Center will be lit all week for your holiday photos. 

     

    Be sure to stop by the Vistas Studio Arts District at 1001 Huger Street where The Vista’s newest public art piece will be unveiled on November 19. ‘The Laborer’ by Mike Wsol unveiling will take place during the MASKerade event at Stormwater Studios, One Eared Cow and Lewis+Clark from 5-8 p.m. 

     

    Also, make plans to visit Santa at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center’s ‘A Holiday to Remember’. This event is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will feature a kid zone, a holiday market, stage performances and holiday concessions. 

     

    “Vista Lights in an important part of starting the holidays in Columbia,” says executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild, Abby Naas. “We are excited to continue this holiday tradition for our 35th year. Vista businesses have been working hard to create events and specials to safely begin the holiday season!” 

     

    The Vista encourages all patrons to visit these businesses websites and social media pages for updated event information and COVID-19 protocols. 

     

    For a full list of participating businesses, click here.

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC. 

  • Congaree Vista Guild Announces New Board of Directors

    July 27, 2020

    The Congaree Vista Guild has welcomed a new board of directors who will serve the organization for a three-year term.  

    The Congaree Vista Guild has welcomed a new board of directors who will serve the organization for a three-year term.  

     

    Over the last year the Congaree Vista Guild board has been working to be more inclusive and give Vista member businesses the opportunity to be heard. This historic change to our bylaws has brought businesses in the neighborhood the opportunity to nominate and vote for members of the Vista Guild board. 

     

    "I am proud of what this board has done to infuse more democracy into our future,” said long-serving board member Hal Stevenson. “I especially thank our outgoing president Merritt McNeely for her leadership.” 

     

    Out of the 12-person business board, 6 seats were nominated on from the previous 2019-2020 board and 6 were nominated and voted on by the membership of the Congaree Vista Guild. All of these board members will serve a 3-year term which began on July 1, 2020. 

     

    The Congaree Vista Guild business board members include: Todd Avant, Avant Holdings, LLC; Rosie Craig, R. MacFarlane Craig Real Estate; Timothy Doe, No Grease Barbershop; Clark Ellefson, Lewis + Clark; David Erbacher, Hyatt Place Vista; Beth Frost, Cohn Construction Services; Jared Glover, Publix; Guy Jones, River Runner Outdoor Center; Dale Marshall, Architrave; Hal Stevenson, Grace Outdoor; Cheryl Swanson, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center; and Chip Wade, Koger Center for the Arts. In addition, Fred Delk of Columbia Development Corporation serves as ex-officio board member and Bart Walrath serves on behalf of the Vista Neighborhood Association. 

     

    “I am excited for the leadership that we are bringing to our board from both newcomers and those returning,” said executive director Abby Naas. “We have a great variety of backgrounds and experience which will help continue the growth and vibrance that is the Vista.” 

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC. 

  • Statement from the Congaree Vista Guild

    May 31, 2020

    A statement from the Congaree Vista Guild in regard to the events of the evening of May 30, 2020.

    The Congaree Vista district is a place that was built for people to come together. Its businesses, property owners and residents all take pride in serving the community as a top destination for entertainment and culture. 

     

    Our local retailers, service establishments and restaurants have been struggling through the pandemic and are working to reestablish themselves again as our city opens up to guests and locals. Their goal, as is the goal of the Congaree Vista Guild, is to get back to a place where all people can gather for safe fellowship in an authentic revitalized urban district.  

     

    We respect the rights of people to peacefully protest injustice and inequality but we are hurt by behavior that damages the years of hard work that our local property and business owners have invested in making the Vista Columbia’s signature arts and entertainment district. 

     

    We want to thank the Columbia Police Department for their efforts to make the Vista a safe place for all to visit.