Join us on Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd as we host our first-ever basketball tournament celebration, the Segra Fan Fest Experience, right here at the Convention Center!
Thursday, March 21: 12 - 8pm
Friday, March 22: 11am - 9pm
Since it's the Capital City's first time hosting an NCAA tournament in nearly fifty years, we've decided to coordinate two exceptional days of food, beer, basketball, and more in the heart of downtown Columbia so we can all celebrate properly.
Fans of all teams are welcome. No need to RSVP or buy tickets, either—the Segra Fan Fest Experience is free and open to the general public (with food and drink available for purchase).
Eager to learn more? Dive in and explore our event lineup now.
A fully-fledged biergarten
Prepare yourselves, craft beer enthusiasts: we're transforming our Exhibit Hall into a veritable mecca for lovers of southern brews.
With bright green AstroTurf flooring, farm-style picnic tables illuminated by café lights, a rustic wood wall backdrop, and lush hedge planter boxes to brighten up the space, you're guaranteed to experience a true-to-life, German-style biergarten unlike any other.
Plus—with plenty of beer selections, from stouts to IPAs and beyond—we're certain that the regional breweries from Charleston and Atlanta supplying this year's beverages can quench your thirst.
Beer not your thing? Don't worry. We're offering select wine and liquor tastings on both days of this event as well, in addition to a full-service cash bar that will be operational for the duration of the event. Check out the full tasting schedule below:
- Wine tastings: 12:00pm to 2:00pm
- Beer tastings: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
- Liquor tastings: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Want to check out some local watering holes in Columbia's Vista area? Here's a list of our favorites for you to reference while you're here:
Games, musical performances, and—of course—basketball
Bounce houses, live screenings of the tournament games, plus, opportunities for you to play a bit of basketball yourself—there are all sorts of things happening during the Segra Fan Fest Experience. Check them out for yourself below.
Giant LED screens, perfect for catching the games
Have no fear, die-hard sports fans. We'll have two large LED boards suspended from the ceiling in our Exhibit Hall, viewable from the biergarten. That way you'll get to focus on the games in comfort with a beer in hand, should you so choose.
A designated Kids' Zone to keep your little ones occupied
Balloon art, open access to a bounce house, arcade-style basketball games, and more—there's plenty to keep your little ones engaged during the Segra Fan Fest Experience. Here's a quick glance at what else they'll get to enjoy at the Convention Center in addition to the Kids' Zone:
- Face painting: Show off your basketball pride with your team's logo or mascot
- Free body marbling station: Decorate your arms with your team's colors
- Magic mirror photo booth: Make memorably goofy family portraits at this special digital photo station
Games and entertainment galore
Want your own shot at basketball glory? Take your chance in our Exhibit Hall, where we'll have a small sport-court and basketball hoop set up for regular layup, free throw, and three-pointer contests.
We'll have plenty of lower-energy alternatives set up around our biergarten, including oversized versions of some old favorites like:
- Connect 4
- Beer Pong: complete with trashcans and balls for shooting!
There will also be live entertainment from a number of local youth dance groups, and music from one of the University of South Carolina's a capella singing ensembles, as well as one of Columbia's most popular local music duos, Prettier Than Matt.
Team merch available for purchase + Giveaways & Products from Local Favorites in our Vendor Village
Finally, if you were a little tardy getting your team gear together, don't worry.
Our friends from the Addams Bookstore, one of the University of South Carolina's go-to spots for sports regalia, will be offering team-specific items—from hats to jerseys and beyond—for purchase at the Convention Center.
Check out some Soda City Market vendors to get your authentic Columbia product, or try your hand at exciting giveaways like a cruise vacation from AAA Carolinas!
Plenty of scrumptious food available for purchase
The Convention Center's in-house catering team, Spectra, will be selling traditional sports game fare, from hotdogs to hamburgers, popcorn and more—all for your enjoyment.
Don't fret, vegetarians and vegans—there'll be meatless alternatives to these crowd favorites for you to enjoy, too.
As the Segra Fan Fest Experience approaches, we'll have more information regarding our dining options, so stay tuned to learn more!
Interested to grab some more great eats while you're downtown? Here's a quick list of some of Columbia's restaurants to consider:
Are you ready to get your game on with the Convention Center? Join us for this exciting free event on March 21st and 22nd.
Like we said, no need to RSVP or buy tickets—admission is completely free. We've got something for the whole family to enjoy, so don't hesitate to bring a crowd with you!