About Us

Showcasing Columbia’s Arts and Culture Scene Since 2009

On the first Thursday of each month, we celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene of downtown Columbia with musical acts, artist displays and performances. Main Street merchants and businesses keep their doors open late, offering menu and drink specials, special events, and more. From the 1200 block at Market on Main, to Boyd Plaza and all the way to the 1700 block with The Gallery at City Hall, you’ll find a lively mix of art, music, food and drinks.

First Thursday on Main Through the Years

Since 2009, thousands of people have joined in the festivities of First Thursday on Main. Here are a few photos over the years.


In 2009, new Main Street business owner Mark Plessinger had a mission to enhance an already sprouting Columbia Arts Scene with a monthly opportunity to celebrate it.

“When I started First Thursdays on Main, which originally was an art show that I did in my boutique, Frame of Mind, it eventually bled out to two or three art shows side by side in the other spaces along the street,” recalled Mark Plessinger, in a 2011 Busk interview.

It began as a crawl for art galleries and creative spaces that were thriving at the time, like Tapp’s Art Center, Anastasia and Friends, and Wine Down in the Main Street District, mostly highlighting street performers and buskers of all types.

In the growing and thriving art scene that now strengthens the creative culture of a bustling downtown Columbia, First Thursday on Main supports and highlights local artists, musicians, and local Main Street businesses from the 1200 block all the way down to the 1700 block at City Hall each month. The event has continued to be a monthly go-to destination for lovers of the Arts over the years.

First Thursday on Main is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run by volunteers. Meet our Board:

Ashley Warthen, Board President

Arts Coordinator – Richland Library

Terri MacLaughlin, Board Treasurer
Co-owner – Sound Bites

Dana Witkoski, Board Secretary

Engagement Manager, Columbia Museum of Art

Cameron Powell

Co-Owner, Transmission Arcade

Allie Stubbs

Theater Manager – The Nickelodeon

Rebecca Warthen

Development Associate – SC Philharmonic

Joshua Bowers
Communications – Carolina Hair Studios

Kyle Michel
Attorney – Kyle Michel Law Firm

Corey Davis

Comic Book Creator, Visual Artist

Open Container Policy

Those of legal age will be permitted to drink beer and wine anywhere on the 1200 to 1700 blocks of Main Street between 6 and 9:30 p.m.

CPD Security

Columbia Police Department provides security services for the event to ensure you feel safe while enjoying the festivities.

Shuttle Services

The Main Street District Yellow Shirt Ambassadors offer courtesy shuttle services around the district until 11 PM. Call 803-205-5245 for a complimentary ride.

Want to Support First Thursday on Main?

Your tax-deductible donation allows us to continue to provide quality performances and entertainment, showcasing local artists and performers on Main Street each month and supporting our Main Street businesses.

First Thursdays are sponsored by:

Beam and Hinge Logo
CMA Logo

Join us at our next First Thursday!