City to honor essential workers with ‘Hometown Heroes’ parade Wednesday

Kings County Hospital nurses and staffers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

New York City’s essential workers will be honored with a parade this week.

Starting at 11 am on July 7, the city will host a “Hometown Heroes” parade and ceremony. The parade will kick off at Battery Park in Manhattan and will feature 14 different floats honoring essential workers that brought New York City through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the largest ticker-tape parade in the Big Apple’s history. 

Sandra Lindsay, a Queens nurse who was the first person in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. Fourteen floats, representing 260 different groups of essential workers, will join the parade down the Canyon of Heroes. The categories 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
  • Communication and delivery

“The Summer of New York City is underway, and the beating heart of our recovery is the gratitude and respect we all share for the essential workers who brought this city out of a crisis,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This celebration will honor all those who fought through adversity and unprecedented challenges to keep New Yorkers safe. I can’t wait to celebrate alongside them.”

“It is truly an honor and privilege to serve as the grand marshal in the Hometown Heroes ticker tape parade and represent all health care and essential workers whose heroic efforts saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lindsay, who serves as the director of Nursing Critical Care at Northwell Health.

The parade will conclude at City Hall Park, where “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will host a public ceremony to thank the essential workers as well as celebrate the summer season. The ceremony will feature a special performance by the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, which was recently featured on “America’s Got Talent.” More special guests will be announced in the coming days.

“We can’t think of anyone better to help us celebrate our frontline heroes during the Ceremony at City Hall Plaza than Robin Roberts,” said Melissa Browne, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Projects and Community Events. “Robin Roberts kept New Yorkers informed and uplifted throughout the pandemic. The ceremony will highlight the way these heroes sustained New York City during some of our darkest times.”

Mastercard will serve as the parade’s Title Supporter. Other supporters include: AMN Healthcare, AT&T, Con Edison, Google, the Greater New York Hospital Association, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Health System, National Grid, New York Presbyterian, Northwell, New York Life, Pfizer, Preferred Meals, and Walgreens Duane Reade.

“Healthcare workers, essential community business owners and everyday heroes were at the forefront of the crisis and helped us navigate new ways of interacting,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America for Mastercard. “We are proud to honor and celebrate our New York City hometown heroes whose hard work and dedication kept us safe and allowed our community to reunite.”

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.