By the numbers: Ticker tape parades

Story highlights

Confetti has been thrown along the route of the Canyon of Heroes since 1886

With the stock market now an electronic exchange, shredded paper is used instead of ticker tape

Sports figures, astronauts and presidents have all been hailed along Broadway

CNN —  

Ticker tape parades are a way to celebrate foreign dignitaries and heads of state, as well as national heroes. Presidents, a Pope and astronauts have all been showered with confetti along the Canyon of Heroes, the name given to the parade route that follows Broadway between the Battery and City Hall in New York City.

The parades got their name from what was originally thrown in the parades – ticker tape.

Printed from stock tickers, a machine that that tracked stock information, ticker tape became a source for scrap paper thousands used to celebrate the homecoming of national heroes. As the stock exchange upgraded to using electronic devices, ticker tape became harder to come by and parade attendees began using shredded paper.

Including Friday’s scheduled parade for the U.S. Women’s World Cup champions, here’s a look at ticker tape parades by the numbers:

1886 – The year the first ticker tape parade was help. The October 28 fete celebrated the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.

1924 – The year athletes where honored with a parade for the first time. U.S. athletes, returning from the Paris Olympic Games, marched through the Canyon of Heroes.

206 – The total number of parades held between 1886 and today.

129 – The number of parades held between 1945 and 1965. Since 1965, only 24 have been held.

3 – The number of astronauts honored in 1969 for completing the first manned lunar landing (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins).

4 – The number of sitting or former U.S. presidents honored (George Washington’s Centennial, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower).

1 – The number of popes who received a ticker tape parade. Pope John Paul II was honored in 1979.

5, 438 – The tons of paper thrown celebrating the Allied victory over Japan in 1945, the largest amount ever used in parade history.

466 – The number of sanitation workers it took to clean up after the parade for the Yankees World Series Championship victory in 2009 that used 56.55 tons, according to The New York Times.

129 – The number of backpack leaf blowers used to collect paper after the Yankees World Series Championship victory in 2009. Sanitation workers also used 45 mechanical sweepers and 20 collection trucks, according to the New York City Department of Sanitation.

19 – The number of times a sports team was thrown a parade

2 million – The amount of money in U.S. dollars it will take to pull-off the ticker tape parade for the U.S. women’s soccer team. Most of the cost will fall to taxpayers, but $450,000 has been donated by corporate sponsors, according to The Wall Street Journal.

1998 – The last time a parade was held for something other than a sports team. Sen. John Glenn and crew members for the Space Shuttle Discovery were celebrated on November 16 of that year.

4,600 – The number of signatures on a petition requesting a parade for the women’s soccer team.

1 – The number of parades for women’s sports teams. Although there have been several parades for individual women athletes, the parade for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will be the first for a women’s sports team.

A list of every ticker tape parade ever thrown