Warm weather brings new business, parks, Kinetic Derby Day and River fun to West Columbia

River tubers- Palmetto Outdoor photo.

The coming summer brings with it the anticipation of warm and carefree days. 

In West Columbia, Summer 2019 is shaping up to be one of the most-exciting ever. Not only are two monumental parks- the Enabling Park and the Interactive Art Park- scheduled to open in the next few weeks, new businesses are changing the opportunities available in The River District. 
Chayz Lounge new hot spot will soon open on Meeting Street.
It’s a live music and event venue offering an intimate setting that invites you to experience the finest Jazz and rhythm and blues talents, up close and personal, the way it was meant to be.
Chayz Lounge  presents a warm, relaxed and elegant atmosphere for adults to spend an evening with friends or a romantic night out enjoying live music. 
“Things are coming together nicely at our soon to be new home,” said Chaye Alexander of the Meeting Street location. She said all the renovations at the building at  Meeting St. have passed all inspections.
“It’s been quite the journey getting to this point,” she said. “But the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright and pretty soon we’ll have a move date to share.” 

Chayz Lounge opening on Meeting Street.

Also coming soon is the opening of Primal Gourmet at 725  Meeting St. It is a new lunch and dinner spot opening soon in West Columbia’s River District. It offers an eat in or take it home menu. 

The restaurant, in the former McGee Auction building.  
Primal Gourmet offers pre-ordered meals or pick up the same day.
Some other features of the new location are: a cafe with super fast service and the ability to design your own healthy lunch or dinner on the spot; a market featuring fresh produce, meats, seafood, dry goods, and products all from South Carolina; a coffee service; freshly made gluten free products; cooking demos and classes; and community and educational events. 
As a ceremonial kick-off to the warmer weather is Kinetic Derby Day on Saturday April 27, on State and Meeting Streets in West Columbia.
Kinetic Derby Day is free and includes a kinetic sculpture parade, soapbox car racing for adults and children, art, food, and family fun.
The Kinetic Sculpture Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Meeting Street. The child and adult soap box derby racing begins at 11:30 a.m. on Meeting Street. Adults have two race categories, Art Cars and Need For Speed. Children ages eight-and-up will race on Meeting Street. Authentic vintage race cars will be available for the younger children to race on State Street.
Also with Summer is coming, activity on the Congaree River in West Columbia  intensifies. From floating to educational walking tours, the river offers so much.
Dozens of tubers coming out of the river at the West Columbia Riverwalk, at the amphitheater, will soon be a common site. Michael Mayo, who owns Palmetto Outdoor Center, conducts tors all summer long. 

Construction of Interactive Art Park.

Palmetto Outdoor is “West Columbia’s One-Stop Outdoor Adventure Shop.” It offers “a relaxing day on the river.” When the weather gets warm, Palmetto Outdoor has a daily schedule- seven days a week – of river trips down the Congaree.”

Palmetto Outdoor is now the largest kayaking and tubing outfitter, by volume, in South Carolina.
This is the fourteenth year of Palmetto Outdoor  doing business in West Columbia. The river trips he offers attract visitors from Florida, New York, Ohio, along with plenty of locals, too.
Other opportunities for summer activities are listed below. 
Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens
The entrance to the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens is off of Mohawk Drive in West Columbia. The Riverbanks Botanical Garden is 70 acres of vivid color, unique plants and breathtaking beauty.
The Botanical Garden also includes Waterfall Junction. The water feature is for families and children West Columbia Riverof all ages to get outdoors and explore nature. It’s described as a three-acre wonderland in bloom with a rabbit hole, a life-size replica of a T-Rex, and giant tree houses. All under a 25-foot cascading waterfall. 
EdVenture Children’s Museum is a great family fun venue and it’s so close to West Columbia, the building is visible from a Congaree River-based canoe.
EdVenture is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to creating new generations of lifelong learners through museum experiences and camps. Its mission is to inspire children, youth and the adults who care about them to experience the joy of learning as individuals, as families and as a community.

The South Carolina State Museum 

The South Carolina State Museum is also a staple of the West Columbia Community. It’s housed in the gargantuan former Mount Vernon Mills building familiar to generations of West Columbia families that once worked there.
It offers stimulating exhibits and programs with the goal of providing an educational environment that entertains, inspires imagination and creativity, and enrich the lives of its visitors.The museum is an ever-changing, innovative institution reflecting the essence and diversity of South Carolina. a catalyst for the cultural and educational development of our state and a model among museums nationally.
Also included on the museum grounds are a planetarium, an observatory and a 4D theater.
While the rushing waters of the Congaree are an inviting remedy for the hot summer days, West Columbia has also become a most-attractive destination for the evening dining crowd. From Al’s Upstairs and Cafe Strudel to Terra and 116 State, the city boasts some the most popular restaurants in the metropolitan area.
And if you’d rather dress down a little, with a more diner-like atmosphere, Zesto Triangle City has a reputation of great food, and loyal customers, built over more than 50 years in business. Pelican Snowballs, on Meeting Street is a strictly seasonal shop, and perfect for the cool down in summer.

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