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.


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 or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC.

For more information about Congaree National Park, go to

For more information about River Runner Outdoor Center, visit