Columbia will be hosting its monthly First Thursday on Main event on Thursday featuring “The Word on the Street,” a free concert to celebrate National Poetry Month.
The concert, which will take place downtown on the 1100 block of Hampton Street in front of Boyd Plaza, kicks off at 6 p.m. and will include live music, art and poetry.
“We’ve got a stage that’s going to be out there with lots of music and then poetry readings by about six poets of varying styles,” said Lee Snelgrove, the executive director of One Columbia for Arts and History. “There will be some food and drink out there, and on the plaza we will have a few different groups.”
According to Snelgrove, Richland Library will be there for people to make their own poetry buttons; the Mini Maker Faire will be there for people to create works of art out of wires and other items; Izms of Art will exhibit the work of three different artists; and the Anastasia & Friends gallery in the Free Times lobby will display an Indie Grits art installation.
“I’m partial to the art,” Snelgrove said when asked his favorite part about First Thursday. “I think that it’s great to see artists come out and ... create things.”
The musical lineup for Thursday’s concert includes Jade Janay Blocker at 6:30 p.m., John the Revelator at 7:30 p.m. and Othello’s Delight at 8:30 p.m. Poets of the evening include Debra McQueen, Mason Dixion, Jennifer Bartell, Len Lawson, Cassie Premo Steele and Al Black.
One Columbia is presenting the event along with local dive bar The Whig, which will also be hosting its monthly tap takeover featuring "snacks, taps and hijinks." Snelgrove said that in celebration of National Poetry Month, proceeds from sales by The Whig will benefit the annual Deckle Edge Literary Festival.
The concert is part of the city’s First Thursday on Main event, a festival celebrated on the first Thursday of each month featuring specials on dining, shopping and art from local businesses as well as live entertainment. This Thursday’s event will begin at 6 p.m. and will take place from the 1200 to 1700 blocks on Main Street — come April showers or sunshine.
“Typically First Thursdays are plagued with rainy weather," Snelgrove said. "But it’s always a good time."