The St. Louis Veiled Prophet Celebration: Power on Parade, 1877-1995
The biggest change occurred in the period from 1965 to 1980, when the protests of civil rights groups led many St. Louisans to view the parade and ball as wasteful conspicuous consumption that was often subsidized with taxpayers' money. With membership dropping and the news media giving the organization little notice, it soon began to wither. In response, the leaders of the Veiled Prophet organization decided to have a "VP Fair" over the Fourth of July weekend. The 1990s brought even more changes, and the members began to view the celebration as a way to unite the St. Louis community, with all of its diversity, rather than as a chance to boost the city or teach cultural values. The St. Louis Veiled Prophet Celebrationis a valuable addition not only to the cultural history of Missouri and St. Louis but also to recent scholarship on urban culture, city politics, and the history of public celebrations in America
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