PHOTOS: Prank persists 55 years later with holiday bow around St. Louis Planetarium

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Every year just before Thanksgiving, the St. Louis Science Center continues a tradition that began as a prank by some crazy college students in 1966.

Live On-Air
K M O X
NewsRadio 1120 KMOX
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

The big red bow and ribbon is now back around the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park. It's an iconic symbol of the holidays in St. Louis, as it goes up just before Thanksgiving and is removed around the first or second week of January, depending on the weather.

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

On December 17, 1966, about 15 to 20 students at the nearby Washington University in St. Louis School of Architecture climbed on the Planetarium’s roof and wrapped a ribbon and bow around the curved building.

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

They also tied a cardboard sign onto a railing where they took credit for the act. “Merry Christmas St. Louis. Washington University School of Architecture," the sign stated.

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

"I don't see how they got on the dome to put up the ribbon unless they were barefoot," then director of city parks, recreation and forestry Louis Buckowitz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Every year since, the St. Louis Science Center has put a bow back up because the community loved it so much.

St. Louis Planetarium bow
Photo credit (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

The process to get the bow and ribbon back up every year takes about four to five hours. The ribbon they use today is five feet wide, with a bow about 20 feet wide.

© 2021 KMOX (Audacy). All rights reserved 

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Follow KMOX
Facebook Twitter Instagram