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

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 parades with ornate floats, as well as numerous concerts, performances, and exhibitions. 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.

Between 2005 and 2007, several local groups combined to revive the Priests of Pallas masked ball at Union Station as a benefit for the Jackson County and Westport Historical Societies.

For more information, look through the Priests of Pallas Collection (SC44) finding aid, and search the Local History Index.

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Mary Beveridge

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