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The Big Apple’s Hometown Heroes ticker tape parade kicked off Wednesday morning to celebrate the grueling work New York’s myriad essential workers endured throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You’re looking at people who have been coming into the office since March of 2020,” Torian Easterling, the first deputy commissioner and chief equity officer at the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told The Post as she waited for the parade to start at Battery Park.
“Before this was an international health emergency, these were folks who were looking at data, who identified these issues beforehand, before the public even knew that there was a problem.”
At least 2,500 marchers and floats representing 260 different groups of essential workers will make their way from Battery Park and head down Broadway’s “Canyon of Heroes” — the iconic stretch that has long celebrated world leaders, celebrities and victorious sports teams.
The parade will conclude at City Hall with outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray applauding marchers instead of a more elaborate closing ceremony that was nixed because of the hot weather.
Dozens of New Yorkers, including first responders, health care workers, grocery and bodega staff, educators and transit workers, braved the scorching temperatures and gathered together with brightly colored signs to celebrate their pandemic labors.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer joined the 32-BJ labor union to honor their toils.
“32-BJ frontline essential workers kept buildings clean and secure throughout the pandemic. Today NYC is thanking them and all essential workers for their hard work,” Brewer said.
“Like other essential workers, 32-BJ building service workers were on the front lines of the pandemic keeping buildings safe, clean and well-maintained.”
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