Though Detroit Lakes is a pretty well-known as the place to be on Fourth of July, it’s changing its name for the long weekend, becoming a part of a place pretty well-known through the state - Lake Wobegon.
Helping celebrate the 40th anniversary of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, cities throughout Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes, have been chosen to become honorary Lake Wobegons July 4-6.
Lake Wobegon is Keillor’s fictitious hometown in A Prairie Home Companion, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above-average.”
There will also be plenty of festivities in Macalester College, St. Paul, during the weekends.
“As Minnesotans, we all feel like we know Lake Wobegon,” Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk said. “It’s where we grew up, where we vacation or where we now live. We can see ourselves in the stories Garrison has told over the years.
“This is a fun way for us to recognize the impact that A Prairie Home Companion has had not only on our state, but nationally and internationally.”
As a part of being an honorary Lake Wobegon for the weekend, Detroit Lakes, and the other cities throughout the state with the same honor, will be featured on the A Prairie Home Companion’s website, http://prairiehome.publicradio.org.
“Basically we’re joining other communities in celebrating 40 years for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion,” Tourism Director Cleone Stewart said. “No special events are planned.”
“We’re thrilled that Detroit Lakes decided to participate by coming ‘Lake Wobegon’ for the weekend,” said Angie Andresen, director of communications for American Public Media.
Detroit Lakes is one of nearly 40 communities throughout the state taking part in the event.
“All cities and towns were open to do this,” Andresen said. “Many people feel like Lake Wobegon is their hometown, where their cabin is or where they currently live. We thought that offering communities the opportunity to be Lake Wobegon for the weekend would be a fun way to recognize not only the anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion, but also that shared connection we have as Minnesotans.”
Gov. Mark Dayton declared July 6 as “A Prairie Home Companion Day” in the state of Minnesota.
The radio show is heard on more than 600 public radio stations across the United States and worldwide over the Internet – bringing Minnesota’s Lake Wobegon into homes across the globe.
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.
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.”
Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.