About the Parade

The History of the Parade

America's Birthday Parade, formally the Veiled Prophet Parade, first took place on October 8, 1878, and was sponsored by the Veiled Prophet Organization, a group of civic-minded businessmen who aimed to promote the City of St. Louis.


The first parade was modeled after the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration and in the early years, floats from New Orleans were shipped to St. Louis by steamboat. Today’s colorful and imaginative floats are conceived and created right here in St. Louis by some of the best artists and craftsmen.


Many things have changed since 1878, but the Veiled Prophet Organization will always continue its largest gift to the community: a spectacular parade that has become one of St. Louis’ most enduring family traditions.

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