Everything you need to know about NYC’s ticker-tape parade to honor Covid heroes

July 6, 2021

Photo by Spurekar via Flickr cc

Update 7.7.21: Due to the extreme heat, the post-parade ceremony at City Hall Plaza has been cancelled. 

In April 2020, when New York City was truly the world epicenter for the coronavirus, Mayor de Blasio said that the city would hold a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for health care workers, first responders, and essential workers as soon as things reopened. Fast forward 15 months, and the Hometown Heroes Parade will take place this Wednesday, July 7. Queens nurse Sandra Lindsay, who in December received the first vaccine dose in NYC, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal, while Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts will host the ceremony.

“Our healthcare heroes, who were extraordinary, and need to be remembered for the ages. Our first responders, our essential workers. The people who kept us alive, the people who kept this city going no matter what,” said Mayor de Blasio when he first announced the parade last month. “It’s a day to celebrate and appreciate the heroes that often go unsung.”

There will be 14 different floats, making it one of the largest ticker-tape parades in the city’s history, as well as 10 “featured vehicles,” 13 marching bands, and a live performance from The World’s Best 80’s Band, Jessie’s Girl. These floats represent 260 different groups of essential workers, which include: hospitals, healthcare, emergency food, community care, first responders, transportation, city workers, small businesses and bodegas, education and childcare, utilities, hospitality/buildings care, reinforcements, advocacy organizations, and communication and delivery. In total, 2,500 people will participate in the parade.

The parade will start at 11am at Battery Park City and make its way up the Canyon of Heroes where it will end at City Hall Park for a special ceremony hosted by Robin Roberts. The ceremony will feature a performance from the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, recently featured on America’s Got Talent, as well as additional special performances that will be announced this week. 

As part of the celebration, the Transit Museum will send out a 118-year-old wooden subway car to take essential workers to the parade. As ABC7 reported, the 1903/1904 car was last run in 1969 and was transported from the museum in Brooklyn yesterday via a diesel engine. “It will ultimately end up on a flatbed truck that will carry the train to Lower Manhattan, where it will serve as one of two floats for MTA workers during the parade,” they explain.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of NYC’s ticker-tape parade tradition. The first parade took place spontaneously on October 28, 1886, when workers on Wall Street began throwing ticker-tape out their office windows as New Yorkers were marching down Broadway to the Battery to celebrate the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on June 14, 2021, and has been updated with new information. 



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