"It’s About Time" for the 136th Annual Veiled Prophet Parade in Saint Louis
Veiled Prophets proud to announce new route and time, Honorary Grand Marshals, and special programming for the evening of July 3rd and morning of July 4th
ST. LOUIS, June 5, 2013 -- With the help of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, the Veiled Prophet organization today announced big changes and new events for the 2013 VP Parade. “It’s About Time” will be the theme of the 2013 Veiled Prophet Parade. The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, at 14th and Olive Streets and will make its way through downtown on a new route which prominently features Washington Avenue. This St. Louis tradition will be broadcast LIVE on local CBS television affiliate KMOV beginning at 10 a.m.
In addition to the announcement of this year’s theme, VP is proud to announce the parade will take a new route through the downtown corridor. “We believe this route change will enhance the crowd’s viewing experience, and showcase revitalized areas of historic downtown St. Louis, including Washington Avenue which was recently named one of the Top Ten Streets in the country,” said William H. Macon, Jr., Grand Marshal of the 2013 Veiled Prophet Parade.
Mayor Slay added, “I am excited the VP Parade will highlight two of the City’s best assets this year – Washington Avenue and Kiener Plaza. It will be spectacular to see the VP Parade marching down Washington Avenue, and I look forward to having a great view riding in the parade. As always, Veiled Prophet and Fair Saint Louis are working hand-in-hand with the National Park Service, the Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis and St. Louis Fire Department, along with other local, state, and federal agencies to ensure public safety at all of the events on the Fourth of July weekend.”
This year’s parade will now begin at 14th and Olive Streets at 9:30 a.m. The procession will continue east on Olive Street passing such landmarks as the recently renovated St. Louis Public Library. From there, the parade will head north on Tucker Boulevard before turning east on Washington Avenue. This year’s parade will be the only such event to use historic Washington Avenue. The march will turn south on Fourth Street before turning west on Market Street; the parade will disperse at 8th Street.
Balloon Glow and Block Party at Kiener Plaza on Evening of July 3rd
In addition to the parade, VP is proud to announce its first annual Balloon Glow and Block Party at Kiener Plaza on the evening of July 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The festivities will feature food, live music, and the inflation of several of the parade’s balloons. “We are very excited about this new opportunity in downtown St. Louis. We hope everyone will come out and celebrate the beginning of the Fourth of July Weekend with us at Kiener Plaza,” said Kenneth J. Mallin, Vice Grand Marshal of the Parade. In addition to food and drinks from the Hilton at the Ballpark, the Block Party will feature live music from two local bands: Griffin and the Gargoyles and American Idiot, a Green Day cover band.
Parade Town at Kiener Plaza on Morning of July 4th
For those who want to celebrate before the parade, VP will transform Kiener Plaza into Parade Town the morning of the Fourth. The party will begin promptly at 6 a.m. with registration for the Freedom Four Miler and the Family Fun Run, hosted by the St. Louis Sports Commission and presented by Schnucks. For those looking to get in a workout before watching the parade, The Four Miler will begin promptly at 7 a.m. and the Fun Run will follow at 8:30 a.m. These races and the Parade Town atmosphere will be a great way to kick off a day full of patriotism and fun. Additional information including race registration is available at www.fairsaintlouis.org.
Live on KMOV Channel 4
For the second consecutive year, the parade will be broadcast on KMOV Channel 4. The broadcast will begin at 10 a.m. “After the excellent show last year, we are happy to announce that Claire Kellett and Andre Hepkins will return to host this year’s parade. For those who can’t make it downtown on July 4th, we invite you to watch the parade on KMOV,” concluded Macon. In addition to the two hour parade broadcast, KMOV is planning a special pre-parade edition of its morning show, Great Day St. Louis.
Honorary Grand Marshals
The 136th Veiled Prophet Parade is especially pleased to announce retired Lieutenant-Colonel George Hardy and Major George Boyd, as its 2013 Honorary Grand Marshals. Lt-Col Hardy and Major Boyd are two of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen. “It is a fitting tribute to have these two patriots, who helped break down military racial barriers, participate in our Independence Day parade where we celebrate the freedom and equality that makes this country great,” stated Macon. Joining them will be the special traveling Tuskegee Airmen display “Rise Above” which encourages children to follow their dreams, even in the face of adversity. In addition, a vintage World War II “Red Tail” P-51C Mustang will be featured in the Fair Saint Louis Air Show.
VP Parade Battle of the Bands sponsored by Wild 104.9
Always an integral part of the Veiled Prophet parade, the band competition will feature some of the area’s top talent to compete for cash prizes and bragging rights. This year’s parade will include nine bands from across the region with top bands from Illinois and Wisconsin.
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For more information about the Parade -- including the new route map and other graphics – or Veiled Prophet Organization, please visit www.vpparade.org.