Garrison Keillor will be off on "A Prairie Home Companion" cruise in August so the Minnesota State Fair is filling his traditional grandstand slot with a program of all-Minnesota music.
Semisonic, best known for 1998's hit "Closing Time," will headline "MN Music On-a-Stick" on Aug. 31. Also appearing will be those enduring Americana purveyors the Jayhawks, hip-hop darling Dessa and pop tunesmith Jeremy Messersmith.
This is the fair's most ambitious all-Minnesota grandstand show ever-- and its first since 1998's bill with Jonny Lang, G. B. Leighton and Heidi Jo Lang. The only other all-local grandstand programs were the Jets and Limited Warranty in 1986 and the Suburbs with Limited Warranty in '85.
Semisonic performed at the grandstand in 2000, and the Jayhawks sang there last year on "A Prairie Home Companion."
Keillor's radio show had appeared at the grandstand for the past eight years; this August, he will lead an 11-day "Prairie Home" cruise to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.