Richland County and the City of Columbia are both writing new land use plans — comprehensive visions for how the region should grow and how its neighborhoods should look and feel. And they want your help. The Plan Columbia Workshop offers two drop-in sessions today, one from 9 a.m. to noon and the other from 2 to 4:30 p.m., wherein you can talk one-on-one with members of the planning team and offer your feedback on how to shape the future of growth and development in the City of Columbia. Hey, if you don’t contribute your ideas, you can’t complain that they didn’t listen to you. The sessions meet in Ballroom A of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. For more information and to RSVP, visit weplantogether.org.
U-S-A! U-S-A! You know how you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. You know how you get to be in the United States Army Field Band? Same way. The Volunteers of the U.S. Army Field Band, a six-member subsect of the musical ambassadors of the U.S. Army, performs a free concert in Finlay Park at 7 p.m. Call 545-3100 for more information.
U-S-A! U-S-A! Eight Days likes to be taken out to the ballgame. Eight Days likes to be taken out to the crowd, and bought peanuts and Cracker Jack. Yes, Eight Days loves baseball, still America’s national pastime. Tonight at Capital City Stadium, the Columbia Blowfish take on the USA Baseball National Collegiate Team, a squad, perhaps unsurprisingly, comprising some of the best players in Division I college baseball. No Gamecocks made the squad this year, but the Team USA roster does include three in-state players, including Clemson catcher Chris Okey. Gamecocks Josh Reagan and Matt Williams, though, play for the Blowfish. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and tickets are $6. Call 254-3474 or visit blowfishbaseball.com for tickets.
Speaking of Gamecocks, Connor Shaw is, no offense to Syvelle Newton, the greatest quarterback in the history of the University of South Carolina’s football program. His 27 wins as a starter are the most in school history — take that, Tommy Suggs! — and he guided the Gamecocks to three straight 11-win seasons and three consecutive bowl-game victories. Shaw went undrafted after graduating from South Carolina but was signed by the Cleveland Browns, for whom he’s expected to compete for the third-string quarterback job. If that sounds middling, know that the woeful Browns have started three quarterbacks in two of their past four seasons. So hail the conquering hero: Shaw signs autographs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Palmetto Moon, a “South Carolina lifestyle” store in the Village at Sandhill. Autographs are $20 — $25 with a personalization — and proceeds from signature fees, not to mention the entire day’s store sales, benefit Children’s Chance. Sweet! For more information, visit palmettomoononline.com.
The rich permanent collection of the Columbia Museum of Art would be considerably less so without the gifts of Dorothy Vogel, who along with her husband, the late Herb Vogel, made several donations from their sizable collection to the museum over the years. The museum is the second-largest repository of the Vogel collection; only the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., holds more pieces. Dorothy Vogel visits the museum tonight as a guest of its Dinner and a Movie series; an artisan dinner prepared by Classic Catering chef Jamine Santiago will be followed by a screening of 50 x 50, director Megumi Sasaki’s 2012 documentary about the Vogels. Tickets are $100, or $175 per couple, and the shindig starts at 5:30 p.m. Call 799-2810 or visit columbiamuseum.org for more information.
Freedom! It’s almost Independence Day, and today is a downright fine day to celebrate America with burgers, boats and things that go boom. No, it’s still not July 4 proper, but it’s the weekend, eh? This year’s Lake Murray Independence Day celebration has all three: It begins at noon with the annual Lake Murray Boat Parade and goes out with a bang, hosting South Carolina’s largest fireworks show at approximately 9:15 p.m. R-O-C-K in the U-S-A! Admission is free for the boat parade, $3 for the fireworks extravaganza. Visit lakemurraycountry.com or call 781-5940 or for more information.
There she is, Miss South Carolina! Or, at least, there she will be, once she’s crowned at tonight’s final round of the 2014 Miss South Carolina Pageant. The lovely ladies square off at 7 p.m. at the Township Auditorium. Tickets run between $34.50 and $59.50. Call 576-2530 or visit thetownship.org for more information.
The Declaration of Independence promises three inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Eight Days isn’t sure where indoor fireworks fit in there; probably under pursuit of happiness. The annual Carolina Celebration of Liberty boasts an indoor fireworks show — hope it doesn’t scorch the inside of First Baptist Church — as part of its flag-waving celebration of freedom. Hey, Independence Day isn’t until next weekend, but who are we to halt your inalienable pursuit of happiness? Shows are at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket. For more information, call 217-3250 or visit firstbaptistcolumbia.com.
Speaking of things that go red, white and boom, the South Carolina Philharmonic today presents its patriotic Salute to the USA program at the Harbison Theatre. The 8 p.m. concert is preceded by a wine and barbecue reception at 7 p.m.; no indoor fireworks, though. Tickets are $26; call 407-5011 or visit
lakemurraycountry.com for more information.
Think you’re funny? Test your comedy mettle at Art Bar Open Mic Comedy Nite at 9 p.m. at — where else? — Art Bar. Admission is free; call 929-0198 or visit artbarsc.com for more information.
Today is International Chicken Wing Day. Mmm … chicken!
Find more things to do at free-times.com/events.
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