The annual VP Parade is returning to downtown St. Louis this year, after relocating to Forest Park two years ago to make way for construction near the Gateway Arch.
The parade begins at 9:30 Saturday morning at the intersection of Seventh and Market streets. Parade-goers can view the floats as they travel west on Market Street.
Prime viewing areas include City Garden, City Hall, the Peabody Opera House and Union Station.
Vice Grand Marshal Jeffrey Wright says this parade’s theme is “Hats off to Heroes.”
“The parade’s meant to honor all kinds of heroes, so it could be anything from a mythical hero like a superhero to a real-life hero like a teacher. To be a hero you don’t have to win the World Series, you don’t have to save the nation,” said Wright.
Floats honoring teachers, coaches and first responders are among the 17 that will be making their way up Market Street this Saturday.
Missouri’s Teacher of the Year Linda Glasgow will be a featured guest. The parade’s 2016 honorary grand marshal is an organization, The Honor Flight Network, which flies veterans to see national war memorials.
Before the Independence Day weekend, volunteers of the Veiled Prophet organization spend weeks at the parade’s warehouse headquarters building new floats and sprucing up old ones.
The parade will feature 17 floats and more than 300 performers and be broadcast nationally. It is part of Fair St. Louis, but retains the legacy VP, or Veiled Prophet, name.