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A first for NYC ticker tape parades

New York City is sparing no expense to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team after its crushing win over Japan in the World Cup
Behind NYC's ticker tape parade for Women's World Cup champs 03:34

New York City is sparing no expense to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team after its crushing win over Japan in the World Cup. Preparations for the ticker tape parade, an iconic symbol of New York celebrations, have been underway at an estimated cost of $2 million, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

It's called the "Canyon of Heroes," where historical figures have been received by cheering crowds and showers of confetti for over 100 years. It's a well-traveled route, with world leaders, war heroes, astronauts and other sports champions having been honored there, but this celebration will still be a first.

A few female athletes have been honored here. In 1926, Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, was greeted by hordes of fans, and in 1960, Olympic figure skating gold medalist Carol Heiss Jenkins was celebrated.

But never has an all-female team received the honor.

Born in 1886 as an impromptu celebration over the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, it was named after the small strips of paper thrown from the windows of buildings.

David Dunlap of The New York Times took CBS News to the base of the parade route.

"There is a plaque for each parade, about 200 plaques in all," Dunlap said.

The honorees reflect the passions of each era, from military heroes coming home from war, aviators like Charles Lindbergh, to astronauts like John Glenn.

Foreign dignitaries were also granted the honor. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was taken down the route in what was called the Mandelamobile. New York sports teams like the Giants and Yankees have been mainstays, gracing the streets.

Dunlap said the high rises add to the feeling of festivity.

"It's not just along the route that people are standing, but 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 stories in the sky you have spectators," Dunlap said. "Happily, Broadway still has so many older buildings with windows you can open that the ticker tape tradition can continue."

The tradition continues, but ticker tape is a thing of the past. Today, the confetti raining down is inkless paper, donated by a Brooklyn-based paper shredding company. It first provided the confetti after the New York Giants' Superbowl win in 2008 -- and has been participating ever since.

The company shredded 1,500 pounds of paper for Friday's celebration.

"We are part of history, I guess. We look down at the end of the parade and see all our paper there and we'' know that whoever came down the Canyon of Heroes was celebrated with our paper," said John Pellegrino of Atlas Materials.

After all the celebrating is over, the Department of Sanitation has the tough task of cleaning up. The department tells CBS News the parades bring an average of 40 tons of debris, and 400 workers will tackle the mess after the parade.

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