Kinetic Derby Day, new parks, Riverwalk concerts, and food anticipated in West Columbia spring

Soapbox race on Meeting Street, Kinetic Derby Day. City of West Columbia photo.

Things bloom in the spring, and so will West Columbia. From Kinetic Derby Day, and two new parks, to restaurants and Riverwalk concerts, the warm weather brings the city to life.

“There is a lot going on in the City of West Columbia,”said Mayor Bobby Horton. “It’s a very exciting time for this city, and it will just get better.”

The City of West Columbia will host the Second Annual Kinetic Derby Day on Saturday, April 27. It’s held on State and Meeting streets.

Kinetic Derby Day is a perfect event for spring. It features; a Kinetic Sculpture parade; kids and adult soapbox racing, artists booths, vendors; and an area for children.

And after all the competition, there will be an awards ceremony

The first Kinetic Derby Day, last year, went very well.

“The City of West Columbia’s inaugural Kinetic Derby Day event was a success,” said Kelli Ricard, West Columbia’s special events coordinator. “In its first year, it was very well attended.”

Ricard said Kinetic Derby Day participants came from Columbia, Cayce, Lexington, Gaston, Gilbert, Monks Corner, Branchville, Goose Creek, Dacusville, and Augusta, GA. There were 60 participants, broken down into 19 kinetic sculpture entries, and 41 soap box derby entries.

Planners can expect this year’s Kinetic Derby day to be even better.

“Everyone we have spoken to along the way is very excited about next year’s event. The teachers and schools are planning on challenging each other. People are already excited and planning their to build (their Kinetic Derby craft) for 2019,” Ricard said.

Registration to participate in the the derby and parade is still open. Go to

Site of Enabling Park.

Rhythm on the River Concerts

The Rhythm on the River Concert series begins in April every Saturday except April 26 and runs through May 25 at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater will be in full swing on the weekend of the Kinetic Derby Day. That week’s concert featuring the popular musical group Brian Conner and His Amazing Friends has been moved from Saturday to Friday evening (April 26.) Visitors and residents can also go to the Brookland Brunch from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Sunday at the Riverwalk.

The Rhythm on the River Concert series begins April 6, and runs through May 25. All other concerts, except for Friday April 26, will be from 6 p.m. Until 9 p.m. on Saturday nights at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater.

Two new parks

There will more than just music coming with the warmer weather. Two parks are scheduled to open in the spring.

One is West Columbia’s new and unique enabling park at 212 Hudson Street, adjacent to the West Columbia Riverwalk. The all-inclusive playground brings families together, allowing children with and without disabilities a play space. It will include increased accessibility for those who use wheelchairs or walkers, and features for those who have limited vision or vision impairment.

Primal Gourmet is coming to Meeting Street.

The enabling park comes with more Riverwalk parking for the public, too. It is scheduled to open in late spring.

The other is West Columbia’s interactive art park, in The River District. It is scheduled to open in May.

The park will contain eight works of art created by local artists. It’s a one-of-a-kind park for musical events, art displays, artists booths and a farmer’s market. In the area of the park, there will be parking space for patrons of the area’s restaurants and users of Riverwalk. The park is being planned for Meeting Street, behind Terra’s restaurant, which fronts State Street.

New places to eat

In addition to all of the public events taking place in West Columbia in the spring, there are some new opportunities to enjoy food coming.

Owner Gregg Martin is planning to open Primal Gourmet in late May at 560 Meeting Street, West Columbia.

The restaurant is a pre-ordered food service. The meals are nutritionally-sound and designed for any lifestyle. The meals are made for pick-up or delivery. And there is more. There is a smaller Primal Gourmet in Irmo, but Martin said the West Columbia location is larger and will feature a quick-grab menu for sit-down diners.

“Because it’s bigger, we’ll offer more,” said Martain. In addition to inside dining, there is a market that features locally produced meat, seafood, poultry and produce. Martin said he also plans to offer cooking classes at the building.

Rhythm on the River

The opening of Black Rooster is another highly anticipated addition to the West Columbia restaurant scene.
Columbia chef and restaurateur Kristian Niemi will open the restaurant and bar on top of the Brookland development, in West Columbia, that overlooks the Congaree River, offering views of downtown Columbia. Black Rooster is a French-inspired restaurant modeled after France’s brasseries and bistros. The opening date has not yet been determined.


The Brookland residential, office and retail development at State and Meeting streets is a landmark commercial project will move closer to completion in the spring. Residents have already moved into some of the units of the complex. More are being finished. The multi-million dollar facility also comes with 125 public parking spaces.
As the weather warms, the excitement builds. And West Columbia offers lots in the spring of the year.

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