'Prairie Home' festival celebrates 40 years

Macalester College was home to the first "Prairie Home" show on July 6, 1974.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A three-day festival celebrating the 40th anniversary of "A Prairie Home Companion" kicked off on Friday at Macalester College.

Garrison Keillor returns to Macalester College where he broadcasted the first "Prairie Home" show on July 6, 1974.

"40 years! oh my gosh how time flie" said fan Tammy Roitenberg.

Like generations of Minnesotans Roitenberg says Keillor feels like family. "I grew up on him and my kids did too."

More than 50 performers will take part, including some who appeared on the first show. Among the scheduled performers are the Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Bush, Iris DeMent and Robin and Linda Williams.

"I like his jokes and all the music he has" said Charles Madson, who claims to have been listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" for much of its four decades on air.

The festival kicks off Friday night with a "40 Years, 40 Songs" concert. An expanded three-hour live "Prairie Home" broadcast is scheduled Saturday. That show is sold out.

On Sunday, a community singalong with Keillor takes place in the Macalester field house.


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