Host Damon Prestemon on stage at last month’s pirates-themed show.
Photo by Kara Maloney.

Yard sale themed edition of Lanesboro’s community variety show on August 10 


Funnyman and birder Al Batt is August’s special guest.
Funnyman and birder Al Batt is August’s special guest.
Contributed photo.

“Yard sale” is the theme of the next Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show presented by Lanesboro Arts on Friday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanesboro. Songs like “Where Did You Get That Hat?” and “Who Will Buy?” as well as a comedic sketch featuring the fictional Scandinavian-American characters Ole & Lars, will each be part of a thrifty evening that includes a mix of humor, stories, and sing-alongs.

August’s show features special guest Al Batt, a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist from Hartland, Minn. His popular humor and nature column has appeared in countless newspapers, including the Bluff Country Reader, for many years. Author of the book, “A Life Gone to the Birds,” Batt is a columnist for Bird Watcher’s Digest and has also written for a number of other magazines and books. He received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union for lifetime contributions to birding. Batt speaks to anyone who will listen, including his two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. His mother “thinks he is special.”

Host Damon Prestemon brings comedic wit and spot-on improvisational instincts that move the show forward while bringing out the best of the performers and guests on stage. The show’s musical director is Heidi Dybing of Lanesboro. August’s musical guest is The Singing Lawyers, a comedy-lounge music duo featuring John and Debbie Orenstein of Minneapolis. Doors open for seating at 7 p.m. and Ravensfire, an Irish-folk trio from St. Charles, will provide pre-show music beginning at 7:10 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online at, in person at the Lanesboro Arts gallery at 103 Parkway Avenue North, or at the door at the St. Mane Theatre — as available — beginning at 6:30 p.m. on show nights. The St. Mane Theatre is located at 206 Parkway Avenue North in Lanesboro, Minn.

Over the Back Fence Community Variety Show is produced by Lanesboro Arts and is staged at the St. Mane Theatre on the second Fridays of March through November in 2018. Every show is unique, with a different theme and brand new material. Upcoming shows include “Folks Named Smith” on September 14 and “Seven Deadly Sins” on October 12.

Each show is broadcast on Winona State University’s KQAL 89.5FM on the Wednesday five days after the show at 6:00 p.m. (also available for streaming at Additionally, Over the Back Fence is published as a podcast on the iOS Podcasts app and many other podcast services.

Lanesboro Arts’ mission is to serve as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages. For more information, call 507-467-2446, email, or visit


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