One of the best known parks in the state of South Carolina, Finlay has hosted just about everything from festivals and political rallies to road races and Easter Sunrise services.
This beautiful 18-acre park has had two lives; first dedicated in 1859 as Sidney Park, named in honor of Algernon Sidney Johnson, a Columbia City Councilman, the park experienced an illustrious but short tenure.
The park fell into disrepair after the Civil War and served as a site for commercial ventures until the late 1900's. In 1990, the park was reopened and has become a beautiful diamond in the downtown area, offering a green oasis in contrast to the glass, asphalt and concrete in the urban environment. It serves as the site for such events as Kids Day, The Summer Concert Series, plus many more activities. In 1992, the park was renamed Finlay Park, in honor of Kirkman Finlay, Mayor of Columbia who had a vision to reenergize the area known as the Vista, between Main Street and the river, and recreate the beautiful site known as Sidney Park.
The park is situated between the streets of Assembly, Taylor, Gadsden and Laurel and remains one of the treasures of Columbia . It is across the street from the Governor's Mansion and has one of the most photographed views of downtown.
A bronze statue of Columbia's late mayor, Kirkman Finlay, sitting on a bench. Created by Maria Kirby-Smith, the piece was unveiled in April 2000.