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Food, fun and fireworks will highlight Fourth of July celebrations throughout the St. Louis community. Here, find out the festivities your neighborhood has planned for Independence Day.
Thank you for the great spread in LN for our Change Begins with Me exhibition opening. You have been wonderfully supportive and we couldn’t be more pleased with the impact. You are the best. (2/8/13 issue, p. 7)
From weeding out flower beds to brightening rooms with a fresh coat of paint, the Veiled Prophet Organization is doing what it can to make a difference in the community. Its Maids of Honor Project is a community service initiative that encourages girls and their families to participate in volunteer projects with local nonprofits before they are presented at the annual ball. We asked four young women who walked this year to share how they gave back.
When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast this fall, the Veiled Prophet (VP) Organization was ready to step up in any way it could. Joining forces with another agency, the VP quickly gathered a group of members to assist in filling several trucks with much-needed cleaning supplies, food and clothing destined for the damaged areas. “One of the Veiled Prophet’s strengths always has been the ability to pull together and manage large groups of volunteers to help those who have a specific need,” explains VP spokesman Tom Cooke.
Some details have changed through the years, including the attire—yesteryear’s conservative gowns with lengthy trains to today’s strapless, dresses with shorter trains—but the Veiled Prophet Ball still is a longstanding tradition for prominent local families.
During this time of year, it is an LN tradition to salute local charities and nonprofit organizations that have commemorated milestone anniversaries in 2012. In celebration, we've asked a sampling of them to share some favorite memories, as well as even bigger future plans.
Just hours after the last float ventures down Market Street and the last booth closes on the Arch grounds, preparations for the next year’s Veiled Prophet Parade and Fair Saint Louis begin anew. The timeline is no exaggeration says Fair spokesperson Bob Schenk. “Planning starts all over again, from budgets to themes, etc. It really doesn’t stop.”
For many, the Fourth of July means grilling out with family and friends, watermelon and fireworks. But before the fireworks go off this year, catch a glimpse as to how other St. Louisans celebrate the birth of our nation.
The seventeen floats featured in the first Veiled Prophet parade were purchased for $8,000—a princely sum in 1878. And on the final float, thousands of spectators were introduced to the mysterious Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, as the torch-lit nighttime parade wound through the cobblestone streets of St. Louis.
While the glitz and glamour of the annual ball attracts most of the public’s attention each year, behind the scenes, the Veiled Prophet Organization works to have a positive impact on the St. Louis area. Through its community service initiative, maids of honor and their families give back by volunteering with various projects around the city. But today’s debutantes don’t just stop there. We learned how three young women who walked in this year’s ball are helping others throughout the community, across the country and around the world.
Since 1878, St. Louisans have lined up to watch the majesty of the Veiled Prophet parade. And if you watched the Cardinals' World Series parade, you also were witnessing the work of the organization known as the Mysterious Order of the Veiled Prophet, or VP.
While it’s highly unlikely, there were a few weeks this year when it seemed like our St. Louis winter would last until June. But spring is definitely on the way and that calls for a celebration. What better way to celebrate than a gala?
Some things that are valuable in and of themselves become even more meaningful when passed down from generation to generation. This is true of heirloom silver, treasured family photographs…and being chosen Queen of Love and Beauty at the Veiled Prophet Ball.
Since 1878, when spectators arrived by horse-drawn wagons and steamboats to watch the debut of the parade, Veiled Prophet festivities have delighted generations of St. Louis families. The civic organization sponsors Fair St. Louis, a Fourth of July extravaganza that has brought millions of visitors to the city over the past 30 years. And although most St. Louisans are familiar with the annual ball for the Veiled Prophet Maids of Honor, they might not be fully aware of the community service initiative that is an integral part of the event. Nowadays, you’re more likely to see a Maid of Honor in gloves of grubby canvas, rather than elbow-length white satin.
The Veiled Prophet Parade has been a St. Louis tradition since 1878.
For more than three decades, Fair St. Louis has offered live entertainment, food and fireworks for everyone.
The year was 1878, and the country was going through a recession in the wake of Civil War reconstruction. St. Louis, an agriculture and transportation center, was hit hard, and attendance at the Agriculture and Mechanical Fair, an important local event during harvest time, had been waning. So a group of enterprising local businessmen formed the Veiled Prophet Organization. “The idea was to promote St. Louis, enrich the quality of life for its citizens and attract visitors,” says Veiled Prophet Organization spokesperson Thomas Cooke.
His Mysterious Majesty at the Veiled Prophet Ball
The Veiled Prophet Ball celebrated its 125th anniversary amidst all the splendor and pageantry that has made it one of the most fabled events in the country. “It’s definitely the social event of the year in St. Louis,” says Veiled Prophet Organization spokesperson Thomas Cooke. “From the staging and costumes to the triumphant return of the Veiled Prophet to his adopted city of St. Louis and the queen’s introduction, there’s nothing quite like the grandeur and majesty of the ball.”
For more than 130 years, the Veiled Prophet Foundation has worked to enrich the quality of life in the St. Louis region through financial support, leadership and volunteer work for various civil and community service projects.
Fathers and daughters start preparing for the Veiled Prophet Ball months in advance, not by scheduling hair appointments and buying dresses, but by painting classrooms, planting flowers and renovating homes in Pagedale. This summer, more than 350 young women, their fathers and other family members devoted 14 Saturdays to a number of different projects, all part of the Veiled Prophet Organization’s tradition of summer service.
Founded with a goal to positively impact the city of St. Louis, the Veiled Prophet Organization is marking more than 130 years of tradition by doing what it is most proud of: serving and promoting the community. “Since the beginning, the basic idea was to help improve the quality of life in St. Louis,” says VP spokesperson Thomas Cooke.
The 123rd Annual Veiled Prophet Ball was held recently at the Adams Mark Hotel. More than 2,000 guests were in attendance as last year’s queen, Janice Hope Jones, retired and the Veiled Prophet crowned a new “Queen of Love and Beauty,” Katherine Remington Martin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Egley Martin. Four special maids of honor were also crowned: Susan Christina Sullivan, Mary Margaret Reagan, Kathryn Cole Boyle and Kaelan Devon Sullivan.