PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater in Northampton

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see…

An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater
Northampton, MA
Sunday, Dec 4th @ 8pm

Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota, and began his radio career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" in St. Paul. - Deadline to enter to win tix: 12/01/11 @ 7pm.

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For the beginning of December we have a pair of tickets to giveaway for An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA on Sunday, Dec 4th at 8pm. Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is 12/1/11 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.


Keillor said he plans to retire in “the spring of 2013,” in an interview with AARP so this may be your last chance to see the legendary author, storyteller, humorist, and creator of the weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion. The show began in 1974 as a live variety show on Minnesota Public Radio. In the 1980s A Prairie Home Companion became a pop culture phenomenon, with millions of Americans listening to Keillor’s folksy tales of life in the fictional Midwestern town of Lake Wobegon, where (in Keillor’s words) “the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all of the children are above average.” His radio show inspired a 2006 movie, A Prairie Home Companion, written by and starring Keillor, Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan and directed by Robert Altman was Altman’s last film; he died later that year. His signature sign-off on  his show The Writer’s Almanac is “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”


Your chance to win a pair of tickets for An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA on Sunday, Dec 4th at 8pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!

To enter to win simply:

  1. CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below;
  2. SHARE WITH US A BRIEF ANECDOTE OF FAMILY LIFE IN WESTERN MA below (one entry per household); and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE), Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address with a third party).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Thursday, 12/01/11 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets can be purchased at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, by phone at 413-586-8686 and online at

29 Comments on “PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater in Northampton

  1. We live in Shelburne Falls and the seasons in Western Mass are so Full and Fun! In Spring we look forward to hiking the local parks and find pools full of tadpoles and salamander eggs!

  2. Congratulations to:

    • Mariana Luz of Shelburne Falls, MA

    Mariana won a pair of tickets for An Evening with Garrison Keillor at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA on Sunday, Dec 4th at 8pm, and should contact us at to claim her tickets.

    Thank you to everyone who participated and shared an anecdote of family life in Western MA. Many great stories! Take a moment to read them below!

    Check out our newest giveaway for a family membership to the Trustees of Reservation and season passes to Notchview for nordic skiing this winter! To enter, click on the banner and share ways your family enjoys participating in community life in Western MA in the WINTER MONTHS! We’ve got a lot of great storytellers here, let the writer in you share a tall tale and weekend winter adventures:

  3. I was born in Greenfield and raised in Montague. My Dad worked for the state road crew. He would never pass up the opportunity to plow and make extra money. So while others prayed for snow on Christmas and New Year’s we prayed for clear weather.

    Once when I was about five my Mom and sister were out somewhere when my Dad got the call to plow. He decided to take me with him rather than pass up the work. I sat between him and his partner as we plowed the roads in the dark, in this big truck I beleive they called the “Osh Kosh.” My feet did not reach the edge of the seat.

    Probably coudn’t do that today. At least he wasn’t an air traffic controller, and at no time was I allowed to drive!

  4. So, Im really a Hudson River Vally Girl. Grew up for a short time in Peekskill, NY along the Hudson River. Then moved to a town called Garrison. Hello Dolly was filmed there and it’s pretty tranquil. Our view from the landing is of West Point Military Academy. And it’s in the famous ‘Preppy Handbook”.
    I did ‘some time’ as I call it, in northern New Jersey during high school. I lived with my dad, he hed moved there after my folks had divorced so he could be closer to work. There I suffered ‘Culture shock 80s style’. Anyhow, after graduation I decided to take a year off.

    My mom was attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, getting her English degree as an Ada Comstock Scholar. On that first Columbus Day weekend that I would have been a freshman in college, I came home pretty late and lit. My mom was there staying at my dad’s place as a ‘lay over’ from her journey, from Washington DC where she kept her main digs away from school. She asked me that even though it was short notice, would I desire to travel with her to the “Happy Valley”, where there were lots of young people and many colleges to choose from.I thought about it for about ten minutes, and made the decision to venture there to see if it was better than northern New Jersey.

    Twenty-five years later, I am still here. I live in Shelburne Falls. I have raised my son, Jasper here who is now seventeen years old. I learned how to eat well, how to meditate, split wood, how to be an artist, learned how to be tolerant of other lifestyles, and my mom is still here too. It’s not my hometown, but it’s a progressive runner-up! And, even though I don’t have that much ‘blood family’ here, I am surrounded by a community that has enveloped me. Of all ages, and walks of life. I know folks all over this valley.
    Back roads my forte that the tourist assumes I don’t know. In fact I have some folks that think I went to the high school here! I guess maybe some people don’t pay as much attention.

    You see, I am a black woman, and there aren’t many of us up in these parts along the Mohawk Trail beside the historic Deerfield River. In fact I kind of feel like a trail blazer. Like Sojourner Truth. (Sort of).

    I grew up in my adult life listening to Garrison Keillor and have always been stricken with the parallel of my life as a child, in this wonderful utopic world where everything is beautiful and above average.

    I still FaceBook with my friends from NJ though. Just to keep it real. Pick me!! Please!

  5. We moved to Williamsburg, MA from Philadelphia in 2001. We knew we were “home” after our dog escaped from our car while house hunting, was taken to the local vet by local Burgians, and the vet tracked us out-of-towners down at the Williamsburg Market where word had gotten out that the house hunters had lost their dog…. we were reunited with her only two hours after losing her.

    Michelle Budig
    Williamsburg, MA

  6. Well, when I was fifteen, I left the city and headed west…I knew eventually the hilltowns call would claim me and it did. It has always felt like home and it feels like just a hop, skip and jump to Lake Wobegon from here. One of our favorite things to do is sit by the radio for Garrison on Saturday evenings and I once wrote a poem, a bunch of them, really, for my college applications. One of them was about Prairie Home Companion…and a singles ad which would include the stipulation that the “Companion” would be a fan of PHC…where the women are strong, the men are good lookin’ and the children above average! I live in Colrain on the Heath line in Massachusetts

  7. The ONLY good thing about having to commute from the hilltowns is that you come home to the hilltowns! It takes 45 minutes in any direction to find a store with more than milk, butter+eggs, hardly ever have to pass another car (maybe a tractor or 2!), get to watch out for the deer, moose+bear, and the beautiful scenery changes everyday!


    We love being able to build a snow person in October and wear sandals in November.

    Alisa Blanchard
    Pittsfield Ma

  9. Just waiting for the snow to fall (after Thanksgiving) to drive thru Bright Lights in Springfield.

    Granby, MA

  10. Wendell — where the women are strong AND good looking!

  11. Not sure how pioneervalleyfun filled in! But, it is fun in the Pioneer Valley!

  12. We find most of our weekend events on Hilltown Families. The fairs and festivals during the summer months are our favorites – one of the many reminders of why we moved our family here 6 years ago.
    Diane Zamer
    Florence, MA

  13. Planting seasonal gardens, canning, caring for the neighbors chickens while they are away for the weekend and getting to keep the eggs….ahhh the good life. We planned on heading to NH for thanksgiving and got a call the day before that a snow storm had gone through on Tuesday night and they were without power. I ran to Diemand farm and got the last turkey in the case to cook and bring with us.

    Glenda Datsko
    Millers Falls

  14. Western MA is great for families who like to get outside and into nature, so many opportunities so close by! Everyone is very stand-offish, a New England trait, so you don’t have to deal with people if you don’t want to. If you do want to deal with people, you can head to Yankee Candle at Christmastime! We love it! We are in Amherst, MA.

  15. In our town of Adams it doesn’t matter how old you are you are the little kid who played in someones hard or rode your bike too fast down the suicide hill. Now that I am in my late 50’s and am comforted by the thought of a small town, familiar people, local merchants and teachers that had you in second grade.

  16. Moved to Western MA two years ago from “a big city” and saying that it has taken some adjustment is an understatement. However, when a neighbor stops by and knocks on your door to tell you that you left your car light on in the driveway, so you don’t loose all of your battery — things have a way of looking up.

    Julie R.
    Granby, MA

  17. Just picturing myself, sitting in The Calvin, listening to Keillor’s voice….and I am relaxed, content. The actual night out would be such a treat!

    Rebecca Lauterbach
    Springfield, MA

  18. Western MA seems to me to be the land of dogs, and of friendly neighbors. (This west coast native has not seen much of the aloof New Englander in her six years here.) The couple down the street from us recently adopted two dogs, one of which shares a name with my 3-year-old. They made sure to bring him over for a visit so that each Henry could be properly introduced to the other!

    Libby Maxey
    Conway, MA

  19. Diane Kanzler, Greenfield, MA

    Hmm. My best childhood memories are from when we lived on my grandpa’s farm in the Berkshires. On hot summer days after the chores were done, he’d scoop up us kids with the bucket loader of his tractor and dump us in the pond. About as good as it gets!

  20. sharon castelli

    we moved from nj to the valley for the mix of nature, culture, local organic food, like minded people… the perfect mix of city and country- not far from boston and ny… we love hiking and going downtown in northampton.

  21. I love living in Western Mass; came here for school 25 years ago and never left. I raised my kids in Amherst, great town to raise children! Now I live in Shelburne Falls, which is the best place to live in the valley. People and very friendly, I love the small town, all the artists and I can walk to The Bridge of Flowers!

  22. Anecdote: Being asked if I lived at “Miss Freedman’s old place” and responding that yes we did, she was my husband’s godmother and having the person start telling us stories about Miss Freedman as a young woman in the early 1920s when the storyteller was a young girl. Realizing a nice sense of family history.
    Helene Leue
    Ashfield, Ma.

  23. We love the holiday season in Western MA: watching the tree lighting at Yankee Candle, visiting Santa at Look Park and seeing all the decorations as we drive through the towns.

    Wendy, Gill, MA

  24. Does southern, VT count too? We love living in such a beautiful area. When my husband and I were looking to move north we literally drove through Guilford, got lost, and got directions from the 2 nicest people ever- di decided to move here! This area is a place where my son can visit the cows everyday, explore beautiful fields, and hear great music most any weekend! Family life in this area is pretty awesome : )

    Crista & Eric from Guilford,Vermont

  25. We live in Southwick, MA. Our family life involves coming home from work each day to our dog Bandit who is like our child. We have a pony, chickens & cats too. I am a law school educated girl with a farmer’s heart. :-)

  26. It’s fun to live here, our lives revolve with the seasons. One of our favorite activities is finding butterfly eggs or caterpillars and assiting through their stages of life until the butterflies emerge. Such a wonderful way to learn about the circle of life!

  27. One of my favorite storytellers in my favorite city! Can’t get much better than that!

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