What is P.o.P or the Priests of Pallas?

Priests of Pallas float
Priests of Pallas float

The Priests of Pallas was a week-long festival held annually in Kansas City from 1887 until 1912, and revived briefly from 1922 to 1924. Festival supporters set out to promote Kansas City’s image as the “Athens of the West” and to parallel other celebrations such as New Orleans's Mardi Gras and St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet. Pallas Athene was the patroness of the festival and motifs were based loosely on figures from Greek mythology.

Festivities included three parades with ornate floats, and numerous concerts and other performances. Nightly parties culminated with an elegant masked ball where guests received an official annual souvenir. Examples of some of these souvenirs can be seen in the Missouri Valley Room.

In 2005, several local historical groups combined to re-create the Priests of Pallas masked ball at Union Station.

For more information search the Local History Index.

Librarian Mary Beveridge
April 2006

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