With the world grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been thinking ahead. On Tuesday, de Blasio, whose city has become one of the major epicenters for the virus, announced his intention to hold a sizeable parade to honor frontline healthcare workers and first responders, which he hopes will “mark the beginning of our renaissance.”

“I want to guarantee you one thing, that when that day comes that I can restart the vibrant beautiful life of this city again, the first thing we will do is have a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for our health care workers and our first responders,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “The first thing we will do before we think about anything else is we will take the time as only New York City can do to throw the biggest, best parade to honor these heroes.”

This announcement came as de Blasio also moved to cancel non-essential public events through May and June, including parades, concerts, marathons, and sporting events. This will include the planned 50th annual Gay Pride celebration, which was set for June, and a series of concerts hosted by the city, which were set to kick off on June 22.

The Heritage of Pride group has stated that, in the absence of traditional festivities, it will be taking part in the virtual “Global Pride” event on June 27.

“As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” Maryanne Roberto Fine, co-chair of NYC Pride, said in a statement. “We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events – and have already begun to do just that.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, New York City has seen over 144,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus to date with 14,604 deaths.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Jan. 21, 2016. REUTERS/Hilary Swift/Pool