Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbia, SC

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Fighting For You

When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients' cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring - a criminal defense attorney on Columbia, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

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Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Columbia

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry's history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Columbia's legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Columbia, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system's ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Columbia:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Columbia, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney's role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime - a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Columbia, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Columbia, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Criminal Case Timeline In Columbia, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Columbia, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone - most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Columbia's criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant's acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Columbia, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Criminal Defense Attorney Columbia, SC

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a "count." During this phase, the State will gather a "grand jury" comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant's case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor's job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client's innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution's case.

Typically, a trial in Columbia includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State's Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense's Case
  • The State's Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Columbia, SC

Richland County resident alleges racial profiling after Columbia Place Mall shooting

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland County man alleges he was racially profiled after the Columbia Place Mall shooting on Saturday, Nov. 12.He says the profiling happened when he was surrounded by deputies on a night when deputies were searching for a criminal suspect.Jereal Williams says security cameras outside his home captured the moment officers and deputies arrived.Williams says he was sitting in his car parked outside of his home when deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the...

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland County man alleges he was racially profiled after the Columbia Place Mall shooting on Saturday, Nov. 12.

He says the profiling happened when he was surrounded by deputies on a night when deputies were searching for a criminal suspect.

Jereal Williams says security cameras outside his home captured the moment officers and deputies arrived.

Williams says he was sitting in his car parked outside of his home when deputies with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the Columbia Police Department approached him with their weapons drawn.

Jereal Williams says it’s a night he’ll never forget, and for his kids, it’s an image they’ll never be able to get out of their heads -- their stepfather on his knees with his hands behind his back.

His family watched from just a few feet away.

“It just brought me this feeling like this is my last night. These are my last days,” said Jereal Williams.

Surveillance video shows police surrounding Williams’ white Jeep. In the video, his pregnant fiancé can be heard questioning the police.

“I tried to keep asking them questions because they really weren’t answering me, they just kept telling me to step back, and that I was interfering with their investigation,” said Williams.

Williams says he and his family had just returned from a family outing moments before the incident occurred. He decided to walk his pregnant fiancé and their children inside the house and then decided to return outside to feed his dogs.

Williams says, “I saw Richland County and Columbia Police ride by a few times, and I saw them shining their lights into the yards, so I knew at that point that they were looking for somebody.”

But Williams said he didn’t think much about it, so he sat down in his car for a few moments, then saw deputies and officers lined up in front of his home.

“When they came in, they all had their weapons drawn. After I saw that they had their lights on and weapons drawn, pointing at my car, they were ordering me to get out of the car,” he said.

Williams said he did as law enforcement told him—he put his hands up – then got down to his knees before he was ordered to lay down on his stomach. He said the moment was unfolding right in front of his 13-year-old son.

“That was devastating for them. They shouldn’t never have to see, the authorities treat someone of my caliber like their father figure like that, and they know doesn’t do anything wrong,” said Williams.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department does confirm that they were searching for a White SUV and that Williams white Jeep Wrangler fit that description. Williams says he just wants both agencies to apologize for the incident.

WIS reached out to a spokesperson with RCSD. Richland County does confirm a complaint was filed and says they are currently investigating and declined to comment any further.

WIS also reached out to CPD, which released a statement on the incident.

Statement from Columbia Police Department:

CPD officers assisted RCSD with the recent active shooter call at Columbia Place Mall.

At that time, law enforcement officers were actively searching for an armed and violent suspect in close proximity to the crime scene.

The vehicle the gentleman occupied on Claudia Drive matched the description of the shooting suspect’s vehicle.

A CPD Officer assisted RCSD in momentarily detaining the gentleman, asking questions, and explaining the reason for the detainment before he was released.

Per CPD protocol and as with all weapon displays, the matter will be reviewed to determine if the officer’s actions were within policy.

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9 restaurants open on Thanksgiving in Columbia SC where you can get a traditional holiday meal

Stressing over how to pull together a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year?Just know that some Columbia restaurants have your back.We’re barely two weeks away from another Thanksgiving and all the delicious food that comes with it — be it turkey or ham, along with sizable portions of sides, such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. But preparing all that food can be a daunting task, especially if you have a large family.With that in mind, several Columbia restaurants plan to be open on Thanksgiving ...

Stressing over how to pull together a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year?

Just know that some Columbia restaurants have your back.

We’re barely two weeks away from another Thanksgiving and all the delicious food that comes with it — be it turkey or ham, along with sizable portions of sides, such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. But preparing all that food can be a daunting task, especially if you have a large family.

With that in mind, several Columbia restaurants plan to be open on Thanksgiving Day so families can have a traditional meal, but none of the work that goes into making one.

Here are nine Columbia restaurants serving traditional meals on Thanksgiving Day.

Rio Brazilian will offer everything you want to eat for Thanksgiving and more. The restaurant will be open 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

According to a Facebook post, the restaurant will serve traditional Thanksgiving dishes along with its regular menu. Rio Brazilian normally has everything a meat lover could want, from bacon-wrapped filets to top round sirloin and pork sausage.

Rio Brazilian is located at 410 Columbiana Drive.

According to its website, California Dreaming in Columbia will be open on Thanksgiving Day, “serving a traditional feast of roasted turkey and ham with crowd-pleasing sides in addition to menu favorites.”

The restaurant will be open starting at 10:30 a.m. Click here to make an online reservation.

The restaurant will also offer Thanksgiving meals to go. Click here to order.

California Dreaming in Columbia is located at 401 Main Street.

The family-owned Lizard’s Thicket will have all the Thanksgiving sides and desserts you could need for your entire family. The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, but if you want any of those tasty sides, you’ll need to order 24 hours in advance. From candied yams and collards to green beans, apple pie, carrot cake and blackberry cobbler, Lizard’s should have something for you.

To order online or view all of Lizard’s Columbia-area locations, click here.

Halls Chophouse in Columbia will offer a special menu on top of its regular menu items from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The special menu includes your choice of traditional roasted turkey or southern fried turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts and whipped Yukon Gold potatoes. Desserts such as apple pie, pecan pie and pumpkin pie will also be available.

The restaurant will also offer Thanksgiving meals to go again this year. For meal order details, click here.

You can find Halls Chophouse at 1221 Main Street.

The national buffet chain will, naturally, offer an all-you-can-eat meal on Thanksgiving Day, including traditional favorites such as turkey and ham, along with a new roast beef offering this year. The chain will also provide full Thanksgiving meals to go. Customers can order online through the Golden Corral app for curbside pickup or delivery.

Golden Corral in Columbia can be found at 5300 Forest Drive.

Cracker Barrel is another national chain known for offering meals on Thanksgiving Day and this year will be no exception. You can also pre-order a full Thanksgiving feast that includes two turkey breasts, dressing, three sides, two pies and more. To pre-order or find one of the restaurant’s several Columbia-area locations, click here.

How about having your Thanksgiving Day meal this year in a restored, 1930s RC Cola bottling plant? Cola’s in downtown Columbia will offer a traditional turkey dinner, along with a few other entree options. Service will begin at noon and last reservations will be at 7:30 p.m.

Cola’s is located at 1215 Assembly Street.

Located inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, this upscale restaurant usually offers a Thanksgiving meal each year, whether you’re a hotel guest or not. The restaurant’s website notes that it will have a Thanksgiving meal this year, but does not yet what the menu items will be, only that the offerings will be “coming soon.”

Columbo’s is located at 2100 Bush River Road.

Savor a family Thanksgiving meal at Ruth’s Chris Steak House this year. The chain restaurant will offer a three-course Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Take-home dinners and sides to go will also be available. Click here to view dine-in and online order options.

Ruth’s in Columbia is located at 924-A Senate Street.

This story was originally published November 14, 2022 4:02 PM.

Nicole is latest storm heading toward Southeast US. Here’s the forecast for Columbia

Subtropical Storm Nicole has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is forecast to make landfall in the U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.While there is a lot of uncertainty about the storm’s track, it is currently expected to affect the Columbia area this week, National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Rebarick told The State Monday.Rain is expected to start Thursday, and could continu...

Subtropical Storm Nicole has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is forecast to make landfall in the U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.

While there is a lot of uncertainty about the storm’s track, it is currently expected to affect the Columbia area this week, National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Rebarick told The State Monday.

Rain is expected to start Thursday, and could continue through Friday, according to Rebarick. There’s currently a 50% chance of showers in Thursday’s forecast for Columbia, rising to 60% on Friday.

As for how much rain falls, or other potential severe weather threats posed by Nicole, we have to wait and see.

“It depends on the storm’s track. A lot could change,” Rebarick said. “We don’t have confidence in specific rainfall total amounts, but it could be anywhere from a few tenths of an inch, to 2 inches, and localized amounts could be higher. But if the track changes, we might not see any rain at all.”

As of Monday no warnings, watches, or advisories were issued for the Columbia area by the National Weather Service. That could change as the storm moves closer.

The forecast is expected to become clearer in the next day or two as the storm moves closer to the U.S., and potentially South Carolina.

“Once we get closer to the event we’ll have a better idea where it’s going and what we can expect in the Midlands,” Rebarick said.

There’s greater certainty that Nicole will not be at tropical storm strength — meaning winds speeds will not reach 39 mph — should it hit the Midlands, according to Rebarick.

It’s not expected that the storm will produce tornadoes, but Rebarick said there is a low chance of them forming and becoming a threat.

Temperatures are forecast to drop into the 70s and 60s in the days leading up to the storm, the forecast shows. It will be the coldest on Wednesday morning when thermometers could dip to the low 40s, according to Rebarick.

But there isn’t expected to be any rain in the Midlands leading up to the storm.

“It will be very dry until Thursday,” Rebarick said.

Nicole is the 14th named storm of 2022 and could become the second to hit the Columbia area since the remnants of Hurricane Ian doused the Midlands at the beginning of October.

As of 2 p.m., the storm was moving northwest at 9 mph toward the Bahamas, and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

35 volunteer opportunities in Columbia, SC

Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Columbia to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 35 ways to get involved in Soda city.Natural-born teachers and mentors ...

Maybe you have some extra time on your hands, or maybe you’re just in the giving spirit. All we know is there are more than enough great causes in Columbia to support with your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, an artsy type, a natural mentor, or a healthcare enthusiast — there’s a nearby volunteer opportunity for you. Here are 35 ways to get involved in Soda city.

Natural-born teachers and mentors

Girls on the Run Columbia | Inspire girls to strengthen confidence and other important life skills. Sign up to become a coach and guide a team through the curriculum.

Big Homie Lil Homie | Become a mentor and build strong, trusting relationships, positive attitudes, and life skills through mentoring and enriching life experiences. You must be able to spend at least one hour with your mentee each month.

Transitions Homeless Center | Create and lead a class to help clients learn practical skills like budgeting and applying for jobs, or recreational activities like art, fitness, and hobbies.

Epworth Children’s Home | Become a cottage partner and provide caring relationships with groups of children.

If the holidays are your favorite time of the year

Harvest Hope | Help feed families during the holidays by volunteering for the crisis pantry or organizing a food drive.

Families Helping Families | Sponsor a family, disabled adult, or senior citizen and help provide those in need with food, clothing, and holiday gifts.

Epworth Children’s Home | Volunteer or donate to “Christmas with Epworth” — an annual drive for community members to fill the holiday wishes of children at Epworth.

Supporters of veterans

South Carolina USO | Connect service members to family, home, and country. Welcome visitors, talk with someone over a cup of coffee, or provide a free phone call to a loved one.

Hidden Wounds | Help out this volunteer-run organization to provide resources to local families. Join the community, create a fundraiser, or make a donation.

Midlands Blue Star Mothers | Support this organization made primarily of mothers of military members by making a donation or helping with a drive.

If you want to be there for abuse victims

Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center | Help children feel safe + comfortable or make a donation to the wish list.

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands | Volunteer in the office, become an advocate for the organization, or become a crisis hotline worker.

Sistercare | Sistercare helps people identify and leave abusive relationships. Participate in a community training event, volunteer, or donate something from its wish list.

If you have a passion for disabled community members

Special Olympics of SC | Whether you want to volunteer for a single day’s event, several hours a week, or year-round, there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.

Family Connection South Carolina | Help out at events + conferences, complete office tasks, or assist with parent support groups.

United Cerebral Palsy of SC | Support programs and services for this organization offering day service + residential support for people living with developmental disabilities.

If you want to stay in your home

American Red Cross | Assist in areas like disaster services, fundraising, and recruitment. Many volunteer opportunities are available remotely.

American Cancer Society | You can support fundraising events and advocate for cancer survivors remotely.

Family Connection South Carolina | Explore virtual volunteering opportunities and make a positive impact on the lives of those with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

If you’re a mental health advocate

National Alliance on Mental Illness | You can support those experiencing mental illness by leading a support group + sharing your story as a presenter, or assisting in other areas like outreach, events, and recruiting.

Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. | MIRCI creates pathways to recovery for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of mental illness + homelessness. It also offers committee opportunities to find the best fit for you to give back.

If you live and breathe Columbia

Columbia Museum of Art | Help instill a love for the arts by facilitating art experiences, providing customer service, supporting administrative tasks, and more.

Historic Columbia | Support fun + educational events, work as an interpretive guide, host walking tour guides, and more.

Serve & Connect | Fill out a form to find an opportunity to help the organization’s mission to help police and citizens work together as one community.

Self-proclaimed bibliophiles

Richland Library | Donate you time and skills to one of the library’s 13 locations.

Midlands Reading Consortium | Give 30 minutes a week to assist a striving reader throughout the school year.

The outdoorsy types

Congaree Riverkeeper | Participate in river sweeps throughout the year + learn how your daily practices affect our rivers.

Foodshare South Carolina | Lend a hand to pack food boxes or coordinate deliveries.

Keep the Midlands Beautiful | Keep Cola’s roads clean by adopting a highway, street, or waterway + helping on clean-up days throughout the year.

If you’re an animal lover

Riverbanks Zoo | Local volunteers contribute more than 23,000 hours to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden anually. Find with requirements to volunteer, here.

Reach out to local animal shelters to donate, foster, love on animals, and adopt. Visit City of Columbia’s Animal Services, Animal Mission of the Midlands, PawmettoLifeline or PetsInc.

‘Tis the Season: Holiday Lights in Columbia SC

In Relationship With Experience Columbia SCThe holidays are right around the corner! What better way to get into the spirit of the season than with a holiday getaway to the capital city with friends or family to see lights across the city. Keep reading to discover where to find the best holiday light displays in Columbia SC.Lights at Riverbanks Zoo Columbia has become nothing short of a light show thanks to rockstar events like ...

In Relationship With Experience Columbia SC

The holidays are right around the corner! What better way to get into the spirit of the season than with a holiday getaway to the capital city with friends or family to see lights across the city. Keep reading to discover where to find the best holiday light displays in Columbia SC.

Lights at Riverbanks Zoo Columbia has become nothing short of a light show thanks to rockstar events like Lights at Riverbanks Zoo. On select evenings in November and December, you can experience Riverbanks Zoo & Garden after hours, illuminated by nearly a million lights and more than 350 hand crafted images. Take a picture with Santa and roast marshmallows at the Jingle Bell Bonfire at this magical winter wonderland where it “snows” every evening.

Carolina Lights If you’re looking for a light show downtown, the South Carolina State Fairgrounds is once again hosting Carolina Lights. Load up the car, grab a cup of hot cocoa and get in the holiday spirit with the 4th annual drive-through light show. Carolina Lights will feature more than 100 individual LED light displays, including favorites from last year along with several new displays.

Fireflies Holiday Lights New to the holiday lights scene is Fireflies Holiday Lights, hosted at Segra Park, home to Columbia’s minor league baseball team, in the up-and-coming BullStreet District. From November 19th-December 31st, come see the ballpark decked out in over one million LED lights and discover holiday shopping, kids crafts and activities, and holiday-themed food and drinks.

Holiday Lights on the River You’d be remiss not to experience the heart of SC’s largest drive-through holiday light show. Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals Park boasts three miles of lights featuring colorful, animated light displays. In addition to the light show, you’ll find activities like the winter wonder tube slide, a laser light show, letters to Santa, and the Santa’s Claus’et Gift Shop.

Governor’s Carolighting It wouldn’t be the holidays without a slew of traditions that get you feeling jolly. We’ve heard it said that Christmas in South Carolina doesn’t officially start until the annual Governor’s Carolighting. On the steps of the South Carolina State House, you’ll enjoy musical performances, a visit from Santa, sweet treats, and more as we light the 40-foot tree that sits on the corner of Gervais and Main on Sunday, November 20th at 6 pm. The tree will stay up and lit until after the holiday season wraps for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

Learn more and get inspired at ExperienceColumbiaSC.com

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