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A ticker-tape parade is a parade event held in a downtown urban setting, allowing the jettison of large amounts of shredded paper products from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry.

Origins

The term originated in New York Citymarker after a spontaneous celebration held on October 29, 1886 during the dedication of the Statue of Libertymarker, and is still most closely associated with New York City. The term ticker-tape originally referred to the use of the paper output of ticker tape machine, which were remotely-driven devices used in brokerages to provide updated stock market quotes. Nowadays, the paper products are largely waste office paper that have been cut using conventional paper shredders. The city also distributes paper confetti.

In New York City, ticker-tape parades are reserved for special occasions. Soon after the first such parade in 1886, city officials realized the utility of such events and began to hold them on triumphal occasions, such as the return of Theodore Roosevelt from his African safari, and Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight. Following World War II, several ticker tape parades were given in honor of victorious generals and admirals, including General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Admiral Chester Nimitz. The largest was given for World War II and Korean War General Douglas MacArthur in 1951.

Through the 1950s, ticker-tape parades were commonly given to any visiting head of state, such as Habib Bourguiba representing the fight over colonialism. In the 1960s, following the assassination of John F. Kennedymarker, they became increasingly rare.

They are generally reserved now for space exploration triumphs, military honors and sports championships. The section of lower Broadwaymarker through the Financial District that serves as the parade route for these events is colloquially called the "Canyon of Heroes". Lower Broadway in New York City has plaques in the sidewalk at regular intervals to celebrate each of the city's ticker-tape parades.

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