The Columbia region is heating up in more ways than one this weekend with a number of events and activities to keep everyone entertained during the long, summer days ahead! Read on for six suggestions on things to do, but also check out our calendar of events for all that's fun in "The New Southern Hot Spot!"

fourth of july
Kick off your Independence Day festivities a week early with the first two events of the Red, White and Boom celebration! First, take to the waters of Lake Murray for the boat parade, then stick around for the largest fireworks display in the state!
Lake Murray Patriotic Boat Parade at Bomb Island Saturday 12 - 3 p.m.; Free
Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration - 25th Anniversary at Spence Island and Dreher Island State Park Saturday 9:15 p.m.; $2 - $3

summer events
Whether you're a knitter, a parent, a car enthusiast, an environmentalist or a pageant fan, there's an event going on this weekend for everyone!
The Quilting and Knitting Expo at Jamil Shrine Center Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; $6
2014 Baby Expo at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Free admission
Classic Car Cruise-In at Columbia Metropolitan Airport Saturday 5 - 9 p.m.; Free admission & parking
World Oceans Day at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; $9.25 - $11.75
Miss South Carolina & Miss Teen South Carolina Pageants at Township Auditorium Thursday - Saturday 6 p.m.; $25.50 - $59.50

see a show
From a musical that will make you shriek... with laughter, to indie and family films playing throughout the region, to a swingin' night of bluegrass music, there's no shortage of pure entertainment this weekend in Columbia, SC!
"Evil Dead: The Musical" at Trustus Theatre Thursday - Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m.; $11 - $27
The Rover at Nickelodeon Theatre Thursday 5:30 and 8 p.m.; $8
Obvious Child at Nickelodeon Theatre Friday 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m.; $8
Summer Movie Series at Riverfront Park Friday 7 p.m.; Free admission
The Haynes 4th Saturday Bluegrass Series at The Haynes Auditorium Saturday jam session 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.; open stage 6:30 p.m., bluegrass shows 7:15 and 8:15 p.m.; $7

batter's up
Come out and root for the Blowfish this weekend as they take on the Team USA Collegiate Team and the Martinsville Mustangs!
Columbia Blowfish Baseball vs. Team USA Collegiate Team at Capital City Stadium Thursday 7:05 p.m.; $5 - $6
Columbia Blowfish Baseball vs. Martinsville Mustangs at Capital City Stadium Saturday 7:05 p.m.; $5 - $6

explore the exhibits
Expand your horizons this weekend and discover something new by checking out one of the many unique exhibits currently on display in our world-class museums and galleries!
South Carolina Unearthed at South Carolina State Museum Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $5 - $7
Dinosaurs: A Bite Out of Time at South Carolina State Museum Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $5 - $7
The American Revolutionary War in South Carolina at South Carolina State Museum Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $5 - $7
Blooming Butterflies at EdVenture Children's Museum Thursday - Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday 12:30 - 4 :30 p.m.; $11.50
Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice at EdVenture Children's Museum Thursday - Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.; $11.50
Cola: Inked at Tapp's Art Center Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Free admission
Taking Root: The Summer Brothers and the History of Pomaria Nursery at McKissick Museum Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Free admission
Bo Bartlett and Herb Parker Exhibitions at 701 Center for Contemporary Art Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $5 suggested donation
Animal Instinct: Paintings by Shelley Reed at Columbia Museum of Art Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 12 - 5 p.m.; $12
Cheer for the Home Team! Animal Mascots in the Collection at Columbia Museum of Art Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $12
Daryl Trivieri's Fantastic Animals: Selections from the Vogel Collection at Columbia Museum of Art Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $12

farmer's market fun
Support local vendors this Saturday and take home something special from one of the region's popular farmer's markets!
Soda City Market at 1500 Block of Main Street Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Free admission
Town of Lexington's Farmers Market at Lexington Square Park Saturday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.; Free admission
Vista Marketplace at Whaley Farmer's and Craft Market at 701 Whaley Street Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Free admission

For more things to do in Columbia, SC browse our calendar of events and listings of attractionsoutdoor things to do, restaurants and more. Book your hotel room and attractions tickets at reservations.columbiacvb.com.