NYC to honor COVID-19 essential workers with July 7 parade

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will celebrate the essential workers who got the city through the coronavirus pandemic with a July 7 ticker tape parade up the Canyon of Heroes, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

De Blasio, who promised in April 2020 — the pandemic’s worst month in New York — that the city would honor essential workers with a parade in 2021, said the time for the parade has come.

“It’s time for the parade to celebrate our hometown heroes," the Democratic mayor said at a virtual news briefing.

The parade up Broadway in lower Manhattan will feature floats for health care workers, first responders, educators, municipal workers, transportation workers, grocery and bodega workers, delivery people, “all the essential workers who made it happen, everyone who kept it together in New York City for all of us and brought us back,” de Blasio said.

The city’s rising vaccination numbers and low rate of new COVID-19 infections make this the right time for the parade, the mayor said. “It has come to pass that now, because so many people have gotten vaccinated, life in the city gets more and more energetic, more and more normal every day,” he said.

New York City has honored war heroes, victorious athletes, visiting dignitaries and others with so-called ticker tape parades for more than 130 years.

The parades are named for the strands of ticker tape that used to be showered down from office buildings. The tape has been replaced by paper confetti.

The last ticker tape parade was held on July 10, 2019, to celebrate the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team.