Thousands of New Yorkers are expected at the Canyon of Heroes Friday to honor the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team World Cup victory.
The team's 23 members will be the first women honored with a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan, a 129-year tradition, since Olympic Gold Medal-winning figure skater Carol Heiss in 1960.
"Their victory sends a message about the strength of women, the power of women, and the changes that we need in our society," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Thursday. "If we're going to have a more equal society, this victory sends a powerful message about it."
The parade will begin at 11 a.m. in Battery Park City, traveling east on Battery Place to Broadway, north on Broadway and easton Worth Street. It will then go south at Lafayette Street and will conclude near City Hall at Chambers and Centre Streets at about noon.
The mayor will give the team, which beat Japan last Sunday for their first World Cup title in 16 years, the keys to the city before a crowd of 3,500. He will be joined by several special guests including Robin Roberts and former team member Heather Mitts.
Almost immediately after the team won the championship, city fans called for the parade. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer asked the mayor to consider holding a celebration Monday and a day later, his office announced the $2 million parade.
About 10,000 people signed up for a raffle to be among the 3,500 at the City Hall rally, according to the mayor's office.
"It's going to be magical," de Blasio said. "The Canyon of Heroes is one of the great New York traditions."