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Contact: David O'Neill
Prairie Home Productions
Phone: 651-999-1095
Email: davido@prairiehome.us

December 4, 2013

A Prairie Home Companion 40th Anniversary Celebration
"Let's Have a Party"

July 4-6 Macalester College Campus, Saint Paul
Tickets for 2 events go on-sale April 1st

(ST. PAUL, Minn.) If you showed up on July 6, 1974 at the Janet Wallace Auditorium at Macalester College in Saint Paul to attend the very first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, you were in select company.  There were about 12 people in the audience.   Forty years later the show will return to the Macalester campus for an anniversary celebration with three days of music, comedy, food, and festivities July 4-6th.  The show expects a slightly larger attendance than that first performance. In fact thousands of fans will make their way to Macalester for the festivities.

"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, fifty, a hundred, two hundred people coming to see it on Saturday night, and we kept going so we could figure out what we were doing right.  The formula is simple:  a variety of music that appeals, radio actors who can do noir, or horror, or soap, strong writing, a Midwestern ethos, and the thrill of live radio.  And a support staff to do the work.  It isn't what I planned to be doing for forty years but luckily for me my plans went awry.  It's a good show.  People have grown up listening to it and now they are middle-aged and still like it." — Garrison Keillor

Special guests coming together to play on various stages, including the 3-hour extended Anniversary Broadcast, are friends who have appeared on the show over the last four decades — some from the very first show.  A partial list includes Old Crow Medicine Show, Iris DeMent, Robin & Linda Williams, The Wailin' Jennys, Butch Thompson, Jearlyn & Jevetta Steele, and members from the original Powdermilk Biscuit Band, along with Richard Dworsky and the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and the Royal Academy of Radio Actors - Sue Scott, Tim Russell and sound effects man, Fred Newman.   

Tickets go on sale for two concerts on the Main Stage on the Great Lawn.  The tickets will give you access to lawn space (bring your blankets and lawn chairs) for the Friday night, 4th of July 40 Years, 40 Songs concert and the Saturday night, July 5th broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.  There are also plenty of free events and music throughout the entire weekend in various performance venues as well as an "Above Average" Children's Area, Recipe Exchange, Food tents and Beer Garden, and a tent for attendees to bring their instruments and join a Jamboree.  On Sunday July 6th there will be a Sing-A-Long, and plans to recreate the famous "Living Flag," from one of Garrison's most memorable monologues.

Tickets go on sale at noon on Tuesday, April 1, and are available through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000) or in person at the Fitzgerald Theater.  Minnesota Public Radio members receive a member discount and may also order tickets by phone at 651-290-1200.

A Prairie Home Companion is heard on over 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 soon to be released, The Keillor Reader (May 1st, Viking).

A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented 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 www.prairiehome.org.

WHAT: A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor — 40th Anniversary Celebration!

WHO: Garrison Keillor, with actors Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Fred Newman; Richard Dworsky and the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band plus more than 40 special guests.

WHEN: Friday July 4, 11 am-10 pm; Saturday July 5, 11 am-10 pm; Sunday July 6, 10 am-2pm
Ticketed Events: Friday July 4, 6 pm - 40 Years, 40 Songs
Saturday July 5, 4:45 pm - A Prairie Home Companion Broadcast

WHERE: Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN

TICKETS: Friday July 4, General admission lawn ticket: $25.00;

Children 10 years old and under: $15.00; Babes in arms 2 years old and under: Free, Lawn is open for seating and open rehearsal at 1:00 p.m.
Saturday July 5, General admission lawn ticket: $35.00; Children 10 years old and under: $20.00; Babes in arms 2 years old and under: Free, Lawn is open for seating and open rehearsal at 1:00 p.m.
Weekend Combo - General admission lawn ticket: $50.00; Children 10 years old and under: $25.00; Babes in arms 2 years old and under: Free

TUNE IN: Tune in Saturdays to any of hundreds of public radio stations coast to coast (many rebroadcast the show on Sunday). Or listen to a live audio Web stream. Check local listings or go to www.prairiehome.org for specifics.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to www.prairiehome.org or become a fan on Facebook.