2:21 PM PDT, July 7, 2021
There were 14 floats and 13 marching bands. The grand marshal was nurse Sandra Lindsay, who became the first person in the nation to receive the COVID-19 vaccine last December.
“I am representing all the amazing health care workers, essential workers, first responders,” Lindsay said from her float.
Hundreds turned out to show their appreciation, including the Creighton family, who were cheering for their own personal hero, their mom, Melissa — a nurse. The crowds were a little sparse, because many downtown Manhattan office workers are still working from home.
Traditionally, office workers high above the parade route throw shredded documents on the floats below. But because of the pandemic, those offices are mostly empty. Inside Edition spotted just a few folks throwing paper out their windows.
Instead of the traditional ticker tape, there was red, white and blue confetti being blasted out of cannons mounted on one of the floats.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio hosted the celebration, although the ceremony was cut short because of the extreme 90-degree heat.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the nation, the pandemic is still raging on. Undervaccinated states are seeing an increase, rather than a decrease, in cases and hospital admissions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the delta variant is now the most common strain of COVID-19 in the nation, making up more than 50% of all cases.