Minnesota Cities and Towns to Become “Lake Wobegon” for One Weekend to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion
Gov. Dayton Declares July 6 “A Prairie Home Companion Day” in Minnesota
SAINT PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Where is the real Lake Wobegon®? On July 4-6, communities across Minnesota – from Ely to Albert Lea – are answering that question as they become Lake Wobegon for one weekend in honor of the 40th anniversary of the show that brought the town to life. As A Prairie Home Companion celebrates 40 years with weekend festivities in St. Paul at Macalester College, cities and towns across the state are becoming honorary “Lake Wobegons” for the weekend.
“Minnesota nice isn’t just a saying. It is a badge of honor we wear because of the exposure of the Prairie Home Companion.”
“A Prairie Home Companion has a special place in the hearts and minds of many Minnesotans,” said Terry Mattson, President & CEO of Visit Saint Paul and the RiverCentre Authority. “Lake Wobegon, in particular, resonates with most of us as a place that we know. Becoming Lake Wobegon for the weekend is a fitting tribute to a program that has played and continues to play such an important role in our state.”
In addition to Saint Paul, the town of Luverne, Minn., is one of nearly 40 communities who are taking part in the A Prairie Home Companion recognition. “There are many of us who believe that Minnesota is on the national map because of the persona of our state that Garrison Keillor created,” said Jane Wildung Lanphere, executive director of the Luverne Area Chamber and CVB. “Minnesota nice isn’t just a saying. It is a badge of honor we wear because of the exposure of the Prairie Home Companion.”
A full list of participating cities is listed on A Prairie Home Companion’s website. Additionally, Gov. Mark Dayton declared July 6 as “A Prairie Home Companion Day” in the state of Minnesota.
Nearly 40 years to the day, (July 6, 1974), Garrison Keillor returns to Macalester College, home of the very first live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, to celebrate the show’s fourth decade with a who’s who of Prairie Home performers – more than 50 in all will be on hand, (including some who performed on the very first show), throughout a three-day festival, from Friday July 4th through Sunday July 6th, performing individual concerts from 5 separate stages, including several indoor venues.
A Prairie Home Companion is heard on more than 600 public radio stations across the U.S., with a weekly audience that tops 4 million listeners. The program can also be heard on the Armed Forces Network Europe, the Far East Network, and in dozens of European cities via the Astra satellite network.
Garrison Keillor has been the host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion since the program started production in 1974. He is also the author of more than two dozen books, including Lake Wobegon Days; Love Me; O, What a Luxury, and his recently released, The Keillor Reader.
A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Prairie Home Productions and distributed by American Public Media. The show is sponsored nationally by Holiday Vacations and by Ford.
The July 4-6 weekend is sponsored by Macalester College. Audio clips, scripts and more information on A Prairie Home Companion and all the weekend’s events can be found online at http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/tickets/2014/40th/.