Savoring Tradition at Taste of Lake Murray

March 1, 2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Since its creation in 2006, the Taste of Lake Murray fundraising event has become a cherished annual tradition. Originally hosted at the old Dockside at Lake Murray Marina, the event’s resounding success prompted venue upgrades, moving first to the Columbia Conference Center and eventually finding its home in Columbia’s largest ballroom at the Doubletree by Hilton on Bush River Road. “My first Taste of Lake Murray was in 2007 and, at that time, it was unprecedented,” Amy Hoffman, Bookkeeper at Capital City/Lake Murray Country fondly recalls. “The event has certainly evolved to cater to what the audience wants… more diverse food options, more live musical acts, and an evening full of fun.”

Miriam Atria, President/CEO of Capital City Lake Murray Country, reflects, “We created Taste of Lake Murray as the official fundraiser for the July 4th Fireworks on Lake Murray, eliminating the need to pull these funds from the organization’s advertising budget.” What started as a fundraising event has evolved into a celebration that beautifully captures the local pride and scenic magic of Lake Murray. “I haven’t missed one in years! If you enjoy great friends, outstanding music, delicious food, and delightful drinks, you must attend the Taste of Lake Murray,” shares Jan Jernigan, Capital City/Lake Murray Country Chair. “What a wonderful experience, all for a good cause – the Annual 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray

Taste of Lake Murray has become a hub for community spirit wrapped up in red, white, and blue, with special thanks to the committed sponsors. Mark Shelley, Vice President Chief Marketing & Development Officer of Lexington Medical Center, expresses their continuous support, “We enjoy seeing the event bring together community members and businesses to celebrate for a good cause, and we love being part of the effort that goes into the 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray.” Iris Griffin, Vice President, Power Generation for Dominion Energy South Carolina, shares, “Taste of Lake Murray has become a popular tradition that many people look forward to every year. We are proud to support this event as part of our longstanding partnership with Capital City/Lake Murray Country.”

At the heart of Taste of Lake Murray lies a culinary journey involving talented chefs and delicious food. “Being a restaurateur for 25+ years in Columbia, SC, and having served on the Board of Directors for Capital City/Lake Murray Country has given me a unique perspective on how the Taste of Lake Murray event contributes to tourism in our area bringing visitors, families, and communities together for an exceptional experience unavailable elsewhere,” says Ryan Dukes, owner/chef at Blue Marlin. Taste of Lake Murray famously features good eats from all around the four counties, including flavors of Italian, southern favorites, fresh seafood, unique desserts, and much more.

Thanks to the meticulous organization and fundraising efforts, the hard work of the Capital City/Lake Murray Country staff comes together for the fantastic annual July 4th Celebration on Lake Murray, as expressed by Brian “Ashley” Berry, Finance Director at SCPRT: “I can’t imagine the amount of time and effort put into the organizing and fundraising by the awesome Capital City/Lake Murray Country staff. But I do know it is all worth it when you are at a place like Dreher Island on July 4th. There are people everywhere playing, cooking out, and enjoying their surroundings with friends and family. As darkness falls, the chatter and activity die down, and the anticipation gets to its peak. Then the fireworks start, and you see the huge smiles on everyone’s faces.”

As the event continues to thrive, key figures like Vickie Davis, Senior VP of Special Events at Capital City/Lake Murray Country, recognize the importance of sustaining this annual tradition for future generations: “When I started volunteering 16 years ago, I knew this was an organization that I wanted to be a part of. To witness the support of the sponsors, volunteers, and community demonstrates that Taste of Lake Murray is here to stay.”

Cameron Blakenship, the Special Events Manager at Capital City/Lake Murray Country and newest addition to the team, echoes this sentiment. “I am excited and honored to be working on my first Taste of Lake Murray,” she says. “I know the impact it has and now I get to help continue making it a success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

Taste of Lake Murray is a lasting legacy and a timeless tradition. Beyond bringing joy, unity, and pride to the Lake Murray Country region, it plays a crucial role in fundraising and offers significant exposure to local restaurants. Attendees enjoy delightful bites, dance the night away, and create lasting memories. This event is more than just a celebration; it’s a meaningful and enriching experience for everyone involved.

Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic at Taste of Lake Murray 2024, happening on Thursday, March 21 at 6 PM at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Purchase your tickets at the Lake Murray Visitor’s Center (2184 North Lake Drive, Columbia SC) or online at TasteofLakeMurray.com

And don’t miss this year’s 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray, scheduled for Saturday, June 29 at Dreher Island State Park

Thank you to our Taste of Lake Murray sponsors Lexington Medical Center, Bentley Pontoons, First Community Bank, Dominion Energy, DoubleTree by Hilton, Palm Beach Tan, Michelin, and US FOODS.

This year’s restaurant lineup:

518 Smokehouse
Bessies Bites & Sweet Delights
Big Boys BBQ
Blue Marlin
Cinnamon Hill Kitchen
Hall’s Chophouse
Lexington Innovation Center
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Roy’s Grille
Sarah’s Rockin Kitchen
The Bistro