Throughout history, parades have served many different purposes, but perhaps none are as electrifying as the celebration held after a sports team wins a championship. Commonly referred to as a “ticker-tape parade,” the origin of such festivity dates back to New York in the 1880s, and derives its name from the stock ticker machine that was used at the time to track financial numbers and provide stock market quotes for the day. The data was stamped on to ticker-tape, which itself was named after the sound the machine made.
The first recorded instance of a ticker-tape parade came on Oct. 28, 1886 during a dedication of the Statue of Liberty. The impromptu party, which mostly consisted of Wall Street execs hurling rolls of ticker-tape out the window in celebration, proved to be so easy and enjoyable that the tradition soon became the city’s preferred way of recognizing a special event, honor, or accomplishment. The second ticker-tape parade also became the first to honor an individual when it was put on for Admiral George Dewey in 1899 who had returned home from Manila following his triumph in battle.
Throughout the early 1900s, ticker-tape parades continued for other notable individuals like Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Charles Lindbergh. The first such sports-related event came in 1924 when a ticker-tape parade was held for the U.S. Olympic team, while the first to honor a New York team was in 1954 for baseball’s New York Giants who had won the NL pennant.
Still called ticker-tape parades today even though the celebration is predominately comprised of confetti and other environmentally friendly objects, the sentiment remains the same. Championships don’t come around often (for most teams), so why not make the celebration count? Though the ticker-tape parade is most often associated with New York City, most major cities nowadays have come to adopt the tradition, which essentially serves as a badge of honor for fans and teams alike.
Check out shots of the championship parade for some recent pro sports victors below:
MLB | 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants
NFL | 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens
NBA | 2013 World Champion Miami Heat
NHL | 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks