Recipe To Create a Family Legacy

INGREDIENTS:  An ounce of adventure

A pinch of determination

An ability to withstand extreme temperatures

A desire to be part of something bigger than self

A mixture of stamina and endurance to wait,..and wait some more

an immunity to early morning hours…

4 Family members

30 years

1. Spend Thanksgivings as a child, watching The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.

2. Upon college graduation, accept a teaching job and relocate from rural upstate New York to The hustle and bustle of The Big Apple.

3. Before there were cell phones and internet, discover that in order to be a marcher in The iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one needs to be a Macy’s Employee.

4. Apply for seasonal job at Macy’s in order to be permitted to march in their parade.

5. Remain a part time macy’s employee and include future Mother in law, (a native New Yorker) as a marcher as well.


Linda Halsted with Mom in law to be, Maxine Winokur 1987

6. Nine years later, join extended family and three year old daughter along central park (before it was lined with exclusive bleacher seating) to watch parade.


7. 2002, celebrate Thanksgiving at home with Grandparents watching the televised parade from the warmth of home.  Shriek with delight to watch broadway actress sister in law perform at Herald Square  with the cast of Hairspray.

Marissa Jaret Winokur

8. Fifteen years later, watch grown college daughter accompany actress aunt perform parade commentary during the parade.


Marissa Jaret Winokur


9. Send clarinet playing son to West Virginia University to study and play in the renowned college marching band

Recieve a phone call nearly two years ago, our unexciteable college freshman calls and jubilantly declares that he has just learned that his college band has been selected to perform in the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

10. Take 10:45 M train from grown daughter’s apartment Ridgewood Queens to Herald Square

11. Sip coffee and pass time in nearby McDonalds

12. Get turned down when ask NYC police officers at the barricade if you can get any closer to watch the 3 am full uniform rehearsal.
13. Cheer the son and surrounding marching band at 3:15 am as they pass by the police barricade on their way to the the tour buses that are taking them to a 5 am breakfast.





14. Take subway uptown to Museum of Natural History.

15. Suck in breath in awe as ascend street level to discover that you have reach parade balloon nirvana.

16. Navigate the maze of police barricades that  prevent you from accessing prime parade viewing  locations along central park.
17.  4:30 am Pull an All – Nighter in an effort to be as close to the beginning of the parade,


resign self to position self in front of lamp post, which will not only provide a firm barrier from imposing crowding, but will provide a leaning apparatus for onset of fatigue.

18.  Eat cold pop tarts

19. Cheer loudly when The marching band arrives and assumes position at the very beginning of the parade at 7 am


20. Watch enviously as the bleachers across street lining the length of Central park begin to fill with spectators.
21.  Receive yellow balloon from a parade clown on roller blades.

22. Send message to clarinet son in the third row fourth one in via clown on roller blades.

23. Check time…

24. Listen to deafening rumble of the police motorcade and the equally jubilant cheers of the spectators as the signal for the parade to begin is given.
25. Euphorically, sigh that it has come full circle.  A fourth member of family has participated in an iconic Americana event.  Memories have been made and captured on electronic devices and will be shared on social media and likes and emojis will accumulate.

26. On the way to meet up with college boy; post parade, stop and grab a bite to eat at Waffle & Dinges.

27. Capture photo of college marcher with his sister before he heads off to explore the city with his band comrades.


28. Watch, and rewatch you tube videos of the parade.
29. Post a blog about the the event coming full circle.