Life imitated art as a slice of Lake Wobegon came to St. Paul for last weekend's "Prairie Home Companion" season opener at the Fitzgerald Theater.

The broadcast paid tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald on the day after his birthday and honored the 100th year celebration of the theater that bears his name.

A meatloaf supper and street dance followed outside the theater, where revelers took part in a loon-calling contest and Charleston dance lesson.

"There's dancing in the street -- at a street dance," Keillor, who performed until 10 p.m., declared from the stage.

The block was packed, with people eating a $5 heaping plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and a biscuit at long tables, on the lawn or standing up.

"[Keillor's] voice is so calming," said Sigrid Espe, a longtime fan. "I have fond memories listening to him as a young girl."

Krista and Ryan Mahoney learned a bit about their neighborhood during the show. "We live on Laurel," said Krista, referring to the street where Fitzgerald grew up in St. Paul. "We have to find out which house."

The couple had been in the audience for the live broadcast once before, on their first Valentine's Day together. "So we have a history with Garrison Keillor," said Krista.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177