Special events and projects
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004
2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995
Italian Cruise (August 21 - August 31, 2013)
The 2012 cruise was so good we decided to pick up where we left off, in marvelous Barcelona, and sail around Italy and Sicily and wind up in Venice. It's a ten-day cruise aboard the ms Ryndam, and as always we will offer a fine cast of naturalists, historians, and musicians from A Prairie Home Companion.
Radio Romance Tour 2013 (July 8 - August 6, 2013)
A Prairie Home Companion's Radio Romance Tour 2013 hit the road coast-to-coast, starring host and writer Garrison Keillor, singer Aoife O'Donovan, singer and fiddler Sara Watkins, comedian Fred Newman, and Rich Dworsky and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band with guitarist Pat Donohue and violinist/mandolinist Richard Kriehn, two hours of duet singing, absurd improv with sound effects, Guy Noir Private Eye, poetry, outright foolishness, and the News from Lake Wobegon.
2012 Prairie Home Duet Contest (August 18 - August 29, 2012)
After spending untold days sitting in the basement and listening through all 750+ talent submissions and yes, we listened to all of them we chose six finalists for this year's talent show. The six duos competed for the audience's vote (including response from our live audience in the venue and on the internet), the grand prize, and the coveted Silver Water Tower trophy.
Spain, Portugal, Morocco Cruise (August 18 - August 29, 2012)
On August 18, the 2012 Prairie Home Cruise set sail from Amsterdam, headed along the coasts of Spain and Portugal, through the Strait of Gibraltar, and on to Barcelona. We explored a world unlike Lake Wobegon — a world of open-air markets, vineyards, the ghost of Hemingway — with a cast of fine musicians, naturalists and historians.
Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny (May 2, 2012)
We celebrated the hardboiled detective's first print appearance with a live performance of the book's first chapter featuring Garrison, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Rich Dworsky.
A Prairie Home Companion Hawaiian New Year's Eve (December 31, 2011)
Two live broadcasts from the island paradise of Oahu, Hawaii. With special guests, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, slack key guitarist Danny Carvalho, legendary Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, multi-instrumentalist Ledward Kaapana, vocalist Heather Masse, and slack key Kahuna Jeff Peterson
Tom Keith, 1946 - 2011 (October 31, 2011)
A tribute to our dear friend and colleague Tom Keith
Summer Love Tour 2011 (August 12 - September 11, 2011)
Fans joined Garrison Keillor, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and sound-effects man Fred Newman for an evening of Passionate Duets, Hot Jazz, Catchup, English Majors, Poesy, and more, on the second edition of our Summer Love Tour.
Canadian Maritimes Cruise (July 9 - July 16, 2011)
On July 9, Garrison, APHC cast members, musicians, naturalists, and other interesting folks set sail from Boston, heading up the coast to Maine and Nova Scotia, through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and on to Montreal, Quebec.
Archive Fun: Bob Dylan (May 24, 2011)
Though we have never got Bob Dylan to appear on A Prairie Home Companion, he has had a great influence on the music we present. To celebrate Dylan's 70th birthday on May 24th, we will take you on a tour of the on-line archives and discover some incredible performances of Dylan songs.
Live in HD! Again! (October 21 & 25, 2010)
Once again, movie theatres across the continent aired a Thursday night Prairie Home show made for the big screen. This time featuring the boot-stompin', heart-breakin' songs of Old Crow Medicine Show, the sweet sounds of Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins, some smoldering honky-tonk from Joe Ely, soulful duets with singer-songwriter Andra Suchy and the heavenly sounds of the Women's Vocal Ensemble of The St. Olaf Choir. Also appearing, The Royal Academy of Radio Actors; Sue Scott, Tim Russell, with both Tom Keith AND Fred Newman. Plus a The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and The News from Lake Wobegon.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Birthday Bash Weekend (September 2426, 2010)
Garrison Keillor invited 250 non-Minnesotans to experience Saint Paul at its most perfect: the end of summer. Prairie Home guided these guests on a Mississippi riverboat cruise, countless walking tours of historic neighborhoods, fine-dining, and the season opener/street dance.
Summer Love Tour (August 11 September 12, 2010)
A coast-to-coast concert tour takes on the everlasting theme of romantic love.
Bill Hinkley 19422010 (May 25, 2010)
A tribute to the life of Bill Hinkley, Minnesota Music legend and long-time Prairie Home Companion musician.
Battle of the Bands Talent Show (April 17, 2010)
Our 10th annual Talent Tee-Off. Five lucky bands take their shot at national bragging rights and the coveted Silver Water Tower trophy, based purely on listener response both inside the venue and live on the Internet.
Western Caribbean Cruise (March 1421, 2010)
The cast of A Prairie Home Companion and many other guests embarked on a unique blend of entertainment, culture, and breathtaking scenery cruising the marvelous shores of the Western Caribbean.
A Prairie Home Companion, Live in HD! (February 4, 2010)
A Prairie Home Companion is coming to the big screen, at a movie theater near you! In an exciting first for the show, on Thursday, February 4th, 2010, a performance of A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be beamed live in high-definition exclusively to some 500 participating movie theaters and performing arts centers across the U.S. and Canada.
Prairie Home: The True Story (January 13, 2010)
Minnesota author, illustrator, and cartoonist Chris Monroe inked a short comic strip with Garrison Keillor. The comic reveals a few tricks of GK's writing style... or does it?
35th Anniversary/4th of July Celebration (July 4, 2009)
Stearns County is about as close to Lake Wobegon as you can get so it's where we plan to observe the 35th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion in the town of Avon, which is on the Lake Wobegon Bike Trail, broadcasting live coast to coast and overseas via Armed Forces Radio a brass band, speeches, acoustic blues and rock 'n' roll, some reminiscences by old-timers, and the whole big crowd singing the national anthem, and our sound-effects man will make rockets go up in the air.
The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes (Spring 2009)
Garrison Keillor takes his skits and jokes, music and monologues across the country in this free form, independent documentary looking at the private man in the public spotlight.
The Great American Duet Sing-Off (April 11, 2009)
This year's talent show will feature vocalists, with the Great American Duet Sing-Off. Duet singers are invited to submit their best song for a chance to appear on the April 11th, 2009 broadcast from The Town Hall in New York City.
Valentine's Day Poem and Song Contest (February 14, 2009)
How could we not have Valentines on our February 14 show? No way. But which valentines to include? Good ones, of course, and ones that really persuade the Beloved that he or she is truly loved.
Prairie Home Reunion: Still Singing After All These Years (June 15, 2008)
Prairie Home Reunion: Still Singing After All These Years brings together most of the old crowd whose music inspired the creation of this radio show back in the summer of 1974.
Bed of Roses Sonnet Contest (April 12, 2008)
Join us for a poetic exploration into the human heart and the power of love.
People In Their Twenties Talent Show (March 15, 2008)
Nearly 1,000 entries flooded in from all over the country, and we gathered together in our basement to listen to them all, with new pens and big cups of coffee.
New Year's Eve with Garrison Keillor (December 31, 2007)
An encore presentation of last year's New Year's Eve show from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
State Fair (August 31, 2007)
Garrison and company make a double header appearance at the Minnesota State Fair.
Norwegian Cruise (July, 2007)
In July of 2007, the cast of A Prairie Home Companion and many other guests sailed the shores of Norway.
Garrison Squeallor (May 9, 2007)
Meet Garrison Squeallor, the new 2007 mascot for the St. Paul Saints baseball team.
People in Their Twenties Talent Contest (April 21, 2007)
Over 740 entries flooded in from all over the country, and we gathered together in our basement to listen to them all, with new pens and big cups of coffee.
Spring Lyric Contest (March 31, 2007)
Over 2,000 poems came flooding into our e-mailbox, a tidal outpouring of spring fever, and we read every single one. From these we chose fifteen poems to be read on our show on Saturday, March 31.
Joke Show (February 3, 2007)
Producing an eighth Joke Show is a lofty goal, our interns have lost weight (and some hair) over the last few weeks, but they actually found some funny jokes we haven't used in the past, so here goes nothing.
New Year's from Nashville (December 31, 2006)
Treat yourself to an evening with Garrison Keillor as he celebrates New Year's Eve at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Alaskan Cruise (July 2006)
Prairie Home Cruise II launched from Seattle for a week of sailing along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska to Juneau and Glacier Bay and back.
PHC on PBS' Great Performances (July 1, 2006)
The telecast finds the good people of Lake Wobegon joined by Private Eye Guy Noir, the cowboys Dusty and Lefty, and special guest star Meryl Streep. Also on hand are the Hopeful Gospel Quartet, the Wailin' Jennys, Jearlyn Steele and, of course, the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band.
Prairie Home Companion goes to Iceland (May 20, 2006)
Tune it to see if Icelanders sit in silent puzzlement or if they clap and stuff.
Prairie Home Companion Movie Premiere (May 3, 2006)
Garrison Keillor, Lindsay Lohan, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, John C. Reilly and Director Robert Altman all celebrated the film in a gala premiere at the Fitzgerald Theater.
New Year's Eve 2005 (December 31, 2005)
We're making a big deal about New Year's this year. In addition to our regular two-hour show from 57 pm (CT), we'll also ring in 2006 in style with a show at the Fitz, from 10 pm1 am, plus the year's best 3 hours compiled for your enjoyment.
A Prairie Home Cruise (August 20–27, 2005)
Seven nights of variety entertainment, four days hiking and sightseeing ashore, two restful days at sea, and all of it in the company of public radio listeners in all their intelligent and fascinating and good-hearted variety.
Rhubarb Tours 2005 (June and August, 2005)
It's not a long tour by rock n' roll standards, but we have lawns to mow and children who weep and clutch at our ankles when we go out the door.
Talent from Twelve to Twenty (February, 2005)
Learn about the contestants and listen to the show.
Garrison Keillor's Rhubarb Show (April - May, 2004)
Introducing the Rhubarb Show, a new late-night cabaret series at the Fitzgerald Theater, packed with young upstarts and old veterans—from hip-hop vagabonds to blues harmonica to twangy folk-rock—and hosted by GK!
Hopeful Gospel Quartet 2004 Summer Tour (April 2, 2004)
Garrison Keillor, Mollie O'Brien, and Robin and Linda Williams hit the West Coast, touring for the first time since 1998, to perform old favorites and new treasures.
Historic GK (March 19, 2004)
The first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, nearly 30 years ago, has been deemed historic. It will join the original cast recording of Oklahoma! and the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, among others, in the nation's registry of historic sound.
A Song for Garrison (November 18, 2003)
Overheard in the Chatterbox Cafe: a song Tom Flannery wrote in honor of Garrison. Find the post here. Mr. Flannery has given us permission to reprint the song.
Show Log (September–October 2003)
A behind-the-scenes look at how the show works. Where are the scripts? Who are these strange bearded men in the kitchen? What is that sound?
Rhubarb Tour Diary (August 2003)
Garrison Keillor describes his experience on the Rhubarb Tour and life on the road from Iowa, through California, around New Mexico, across Washington and Oregon, and over to Kentucky.
The Rhubarb Tour (August 2003)
This summer's Rhubarb Tour was a three-week transcontinental extravaganza, with stops in 16 cities from Santa Fe to Cleveland to Buffalo.
Elenas's Farewell Luncheon (July 29, 2003)
The staff of A Prairie Home Companion held a fashion lunch at La Grolla, on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. The occasion was to wish staff member Elena See a fond farewell, as she departed for graduate school in Maine.
A Prairie Home Companion Show Video (July 2002)
Live video of our July 6 show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, with French Canadian group Entourloupe, singer Stephanie Davis and accordion player Dan Newton.
Wobegon Weekend (February 2002)
Three-hundred folks from around the country visit St. Paul for a weekend of winter fun with Garrison and the crew of A Prairie Home Companion.
Book Reading Video (December 2001)
Watch and listen as Garrison discusses his latest novel Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 during a recent book reading at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
Wobegonians Like Me (November 2001)
German radio journalist Joachim Bürkert on why A Prairie Home Companion resonates with many Europeans.
Garrison Keillor on "Fresh Air" (September 2001)
Listen in as Garrison talks about his latest novel, Lake Wobegon Summer 1956, and his recent heart valve operation with WHYY's Terry Gross on "Fresh Air."
A Night Out series (2001)
Listen in as Garrison strolls down explores the musical traditions of a variety of U.S. cities (Memphis, St. Paul, New York, Honolulu).
Travel Tips (July 2001)
Some of our resident globetrotters share their best travel tips—from how to beat jet lag to where to find the best meals to how to pack your clothes wrinkle-free. You'll want to read these helpful hints before your next trip!
Keillor Inducted into the AAAL (May 2001)
Garrison Keillor was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Letters in May. Membership in the Academy is a recognition of achievement in the arts.
European Tour 2001 (March 2001)
Read Garrison's travelogue as he and the cast and crew travel to Berlin, Germany and Dublin, Ireland.
Street Dance 2000 (October 2000)
Down jackets, meatloaf, loon calls and dancing in the streets. It's our Opening Show Street Dance from beautiful downtown St. Paul.
Our Summer Vacation (October 2000)
From a waterskiing mishap to trans-Atlantic trips (and even a visit to Minnesota's own Gooseberry Falls), here's everything you wanted to know about the summer festivities of the cast and crew of A Prairie Home Companion.
A Little Bit of Prairie Home (October 2000)
For a short introduction to A Prairie Home Companion, take a look at a musical slideshow we've put together.
T-TUTT Champ 2000 (April 2000)
Leilani Clark was voted this year's winner of the Talent From Towns Under 2000 Contest and awarded the Silver Water Tower Trophy. A special thanks to all our finalists!
Parade of Jokes 2000 (April 2000)
This year's Joke Show is a wrap. A very special thanks to all those who took the time to send us a joke or two. Here are some of the over 1000 jokes we received via the Web for this year's show.
Lands' End show (April 2000)
Garrison Keillor, Tom Keith and Rich Dworsky perform with local artists at Lands End in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
Sonnet Contest and Winning Sonnets (Feb. 2000)
Over 2500 sonnets poured into our offices after Garrison announced a Sonnet Contest in celebration of St. Valentine's Day.
Keillor Receives 1999 National Humanities Medal (Sept. 1999)
"I am 80 percent certain that this award is a joke ... "
Live Backstage Chats from the Fitzgerald Theater
Read transcripts of these online chats featuring Tom Keith, Sue Scott, Tim Russell, and other PHC performers and staff. (Fall '99)
Keillor at the Minnesota State Fair
Garrison Keillor wowed the crowd - Listen to Garrison Keillor at the fair, featuring a special quiz show and Keillor's take on music through the decades. You can view a slide show of Garrison's live appearance. (09/99)
25 Years of Pretty Good Radio
Bits, snapshots, and clips from the last 25 years featuring excerpts from anniversary publications and recordings. (07/99)
A Prairie Home Companion 25th Anniversary
It's hard to believe, but this year marks the 25th anniversary of APHC. Take a look and listen through the years with this retrospective. (07/99)
Talent From Towns Under Two Thousand
It's that time of year again, when the small-town stars shine. Listen here to the winner, finalists, and other selections. (04/99)
Celebrate the Holidays with A Prairie Home Companion
Can't get enough of the joyous winter season? Take a look at our archive of past holiday shows. (12/98)
Countdown to Showtime
From Thanksgiving to Christmas, A Prairie Home Companion came live from Manhattan. View the cast and crew preparing for a show in this behind-the-scenes slide show. (11/98)
Tour the Fox Theater
This beautiful, historic Atlanta theater was the November 21 show venue. (11/98)
Ghoulies, ghosties, and a few weirdos hung out with the show on Halloween. (10/98)
How does Tom Keith create such an amazing array of sounds for the show each week? The secret's out on the sound effects page. (Audio samples included!) (10/98)
Street Dance Photo Album
A rare look at St. Paul nightlife from the 1998-99 season opener. (10/98)
Year 24, and Counting
Garrison Keillor celebrates 24 years of A Prairie Home Companion with a note to the audience. (10/98)
A Glorious Fourth with Garrison Keillor
Celebrate America's independence with an essay and sing-along lyrics from Garrison Keillor. (07/98)
The Hopeful Gospel Quartet
In preparation for their 1998 summer tour, APHC compiled a brief history of this famous foursome. (7/98)
Studs Terkel Birthday Party!
The great voice of America's Everyman celebrated his birthday on a special APHC tribute show. (5/98)
Talent from Towns Under Two Thousand
The fourth annual contest was bigger than ever - listen to selected auditions and performances, and hear the winners! (04/98)
A Little Girl Was Born
Garrison Keillor reflects on the birth of his child. (01/98)
Garrison Keillor invited people to participate in a series of chats on the first four Wednesdays in October - read these transcripts on topics ranging from Lutherans and Catholics to what has happened since Tuesday. (10/97)
Is This Minnesotan? Garrison Keillor at the State Fair
What are the qualities of a true Minnesotan? Listen to 12 Minnesotans' answers to Mr. Keillors' question. (8/97)
The silly, the weird, the poignant: Camp-song lyrics as best remembered by kids and former kids. Is that a mosquito bite you have there? (7/97)
Midterm Comedy Seminar
APHC fans offer skit suggestions and unbridled opinions about what REALLY is funny. (2/97)
1997 New Year's Resolutions
If one is to believe the emails we received, there are going to be a whole lot of changes among the APHC audience in 1997. (1/97)
The Best of the Emergency Call for Comedy!
Budding comedy writers from around the country came forth with script ideas, several of which were performed on A Prairie Home Companion. (12/95)
Presidential Campaign Press Conference
In the wake of Colin Powell's decision not to run for President, Garrison Keilor and Roy Blount, Jr., demonstrate the same lack of commitment. (11/95)
A Prairie Home Companion Writers' Meeting
Online with Garrison Keillor, Sandy Beach, Guy Wire, and Ernest Money. (10/95)
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).