Best Local Festival: Soda City MarketBy Caroline Hiel
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Hours: Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
0.7 miles, 4-minute drive from the Horseshoe
It’s Saturday in South Carolina ... looking for something to do before the Gamecock football game? Or maybe it’s not even football season and just a regular Saturday. No matter the time of year, Soda City Market is the perfect place to spend your Saturday mornings!
Soda City happens every single Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, and stretches down Main Street. It got its start back in 2005 with only six vendors, with the name based off Columbia’s nickname, “Cola.” The festival quickly became popular and became what we know it as today: a market with an average of 150 vendors and up to 5,000 visitors walking, laughing and enjoying some great food each week.
My personal favorite food vendors include Street Thai Food, Los Chicanos Mexican quesadillas, the Belgian Waffle Truck, and Indah Coffee. There are so many different food options, there’s no way you’ll go home hungry.
If you’re more interested in shopping than eating, Cobble & Vine Candle Co. has amazing smelling candles; and Susan’s Succulents has the cutest plants to decorate your dorm room or apartment. Everything sold at Soda City is unique and handcrafted right here in South Carolina, so there’s really no better place to go support small businesses!
Aside from shopping and eating, you can also always enjoy the music from local performers set up along the street or pet one of the many, many dogs that are out walking with their owners.
Soda City Market is just a short walk from campus, and parking in metered spots is always free on Saturdays if you’d rather drive.
Soda City really is one of the most fun festivals in Cola, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to! Once you do, I can guarantee you’ll be counting down the days until the next Saturday so you can go again.