Artbeat: This annual two-week long celebration of arts in the Chattahoochee Valley kicks off with a night including several art displays, live performances and a fireworks show. The year’s theme is “Arts on the Chattahoochee” and includes two large public art projects — Alex Brewer, an Atlanta-based muralist better known as HENSE, has covered the side of the two-story building at 1211 Broadway in every kind of color while the Brooklyn artist Rachel Hayes has attached an installation beneath the arches of the Dillingham Street Bridge. “Where else could you get this level of entertainment completely free?” said organizer Susan Wiggins, a W.C. Bradley executive. The kick-off starts at 6 p.m. at Woodruff Park, 1000 Bay Ave. Admission is free. Go to www.artbeatcolumbus.org.
Autism Hope Center game night and social: The night will have snacks, video games and other activities; a $3 donation is appreciated to but not required. At North Highland Church, on the corner of Moon Road and Whittlesey Boulevard, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Toast of the Town: This fundraiser supports guest artists, young musicians and educational programs for the CSO. It also supports The Orchestra Up-Close program for children in pre-K to the third grades; free and reduced tickets to students and military personnel and other programs that make music accessible for people of all ages and economic groups. Savor world-class wines, fine foods, hand-crafted beers, Southern spirits and a silent auction. From 6 to 11 p.m. at the Rivermill Event Centre, 3715 First Ave. Admission is $85-$150. Call 706-323-5059 or go to www.toastcolumbus.com.
Frankie Beverly and Maze: Supershop Ent. Presents The Heart & Soul Tour featuring Frankie Beverly and Maze with special guest K. Michelle. Starts at 8 p.m. at the Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St. Tickest are $48-$58. Go to www.ticketmaster.com.
Women’s Empowerment Lunch: Davis Broadcasting Inc. presents comedian and actress Kym Whitley as the keynote speaker for the 12th annual luncheon at 11 a.m., at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave. Tickets are $30. Call 706-576-3565.
Color Me Rad: A fun-filled, untimed run where you get shot with color paint and hit with colored starch throughout the 5K. Last year, approximately 4,400 people participated. It was quite a scene in downtown Columbus last March. The setup included a large stage with Color Me Rad representatives pushing the crowd for live stunts in efforts to have more color bombs explode and gun squirted. This year’s event starts at 9 a.m. at Woodruff Park, 1000 Bay Ave. Admission is $45. Call 706-596-0111 or go to www.colormerad.com.
Mad Science Super Saturday: Kids will learn about sound by playing with kazoos. Starts at 12:30 p.m. at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, 701 Front Ave. Admission is $4-$6. Call 706-649-1477 or go to www.ccssc.org.
St. Paddy’s: This evening 5K race begins at Big Dog Running Company and stays downtown. Starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Big Dog Running Company, 1104 Broadway. Admission is $24-$30. Call 706-322-2786 or go to www.bigdogrunning.com.
Mediterranean Party: Carriage & Horses, in Pine Mountain, Ga., will be hosting this fine dining event, which also features belly dancing. Cost is $30 per person. Call 706-663-4777.
"Les Misérables": The long-running musical, an epic tale of passion and destruction in 19th-century France, continues at the Springer Opera House, 103 Tenth St. Runs through March 15. Tickets are $25-50. Call 706-326-3688 or go to www.springeroperahouse.org.
MidTown Bike Around: A 10-mile casual bike tour highlighting the sites of postcards currently on display in the “Greetings from Midtown” exhibit at the Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road. Cost is $15; kids under 10 are free. Starts at 2 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-494-1663.
Cotton, Clay and Coca-Cola: Sponsored by Historic Columbus, this free afternoon event at Heritage Park, 703 Broadway, includes hands-on activites for kids to bring alive Columbus’ connection to cotton, clay and Coca-Cola. From 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Go to www.historiccolumbus.com.
"An Afternoon at the Movies": This Pops Concert and Luncheon benefits the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. Guests will enjoy an elegant lunch and hear music from movie favorites like “Jurassic Park,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Titanic,” “Shrek” and more. 12:30 p.m. at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave. Call 706-256-3614 or go to www.yogc.org.
Thunder in the Valley: The annual air show will this year offer what organizers say is an air battle between good and evil. The Immortals show will feature stars of other headlining acts. The Silver Wings Parachute Demonstration Team will also perform. Franklin’s Flying Circus features Kyle Franklin performing in his Demon-1 biplane known as “Dracula,” an aircraft powered by a fuel-injected engine of more than 500 horsepower. Melissa Pemberton will be performing an aerobatics show and a wingsuit skydive. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days at the Columbus Airport, 3250 W. Britt David Road. Tickets are $8-$15, parking free-$15. Call 706-243-8954.
Cottonmouths: Friday, the ice hockey team hosts Pensacola Ice Flyers starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, they’ll face the Knoxville Ice Bears at 7:30 p.m. And on Sunday they’ll face the Louisiana IceGators at 4 p.m. at the Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St. Tickets are $9-$30. Go to www.ticketmaster.com.
Bass Trombone: James Markey, the bass trombonist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will wrap up his residency at CSU with a recital at RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall, 900 Broadway. Admission is free. Call 706-256-3612 or go to www.columbusstate.edu/music.
Tip-A-Snake Silent Auction and Dinner: This annual, Hollywood-themed event turns Cottonmouths players into waiters to earn tips for the Children’s Miracle Network at the Midtown Medical Center. The players have been known to sing and dance to raise money. Tip-A-Snake is sponsored by TIC Federal Credit Union and the Cottonmouths. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Green Island Country Club. Tickets are $50 each or $375 for a table of eight. Call 706-660-6559.
Zac Brown Band: The multiplatinum, award-winning country group — famous for hits such as “Chicken Fried” and “Toes” — will perform at the Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St., at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39-$84.50. Go to www.ticketmaster.com.
"The Secret Garden": A tale of forgiveness and renewal, following the 11-year-old Mary Lennox after she is orphaned in India. Show time is at 7:30 p.m. at CSU’s Riverside Theatre Complex. Also March 20-23. Tickets are $17, $15 (seniors and active military) and $12 (children 12 and under). Call 706-507-8444.