Skip to main content

Keillor to celebrate 40th anniversary of 'Prairie Home Companion' this weekend

  • Author:
  • Updated:

"A Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor is celebrating the show's 40th anniversary this Fourth of July weekend at the place where it all started, the Star Tribune reports.

Keillor will be returning to Macalester College for a three-day festival July 4-6. He broadcast the first "Prairie Home" show at Macalester on July 6, 1974.

The festival calendar features entertainment both day and night Friday and Saturday, and day events Sunday. More than 50 performers are scheduled to participate in the festival, including some of those who were featured on the first "Prairie Home" show.

The spotlight event Friday night – the "40 Years, 40 Songs" concert – still has limited lawn tickets available. The expanded three-hour broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" starting at 5 p.m. Saturday is sold out.

Keillor is also scheduled to take part in a community singalong Sunday afternoon in the Macalester field house.

"We intended the show to last for a year, or maybe two, but just as we were about to quit, the show started to draw an audience, 50, 100, 200 people coming to see it on Saturday night, and we kept going so we could figure out what we were doing right," Keillor recalled on the "Prairie Home" website.

According to the Pioneer Press, "Prairie Home" is now heard by 4 million listeners a week on more than 600 public radio stations nationwide. The first broadcast of the show 40 years ago was digitally preserved in the Library of Congress in 2004, the Associated Press said.

Minnesota Public Radio has a clip from the first historic broadcast.

In addition to the radio show, "Prairie Home" was adapted in a feature film in 2006.

Directed by the late Robert Altman, the film attracted an all-star cast, including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Virginia Madsen and Tommy Lee Jones.

The film, shot on location at the show's regular home at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, also featured Keillor and such "Prairie Home" regulars as Tim Russell and Sue Scott.

Next Up


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.


Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.


Signs that MN Legislature could move to loosen liquor laws

A provision was approved by a legislature committee on Thursday but still awaits a final decision from the House and Senate.

US Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium looking to hire 400 part-time workers

A hiring fair will be held for the positions.