Retired DPD inspector passes love of Thanksgiving parade down to grandson

Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 07:49:04-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Patricia Zadorozny has been attending the Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit since her first parade in 1949, when she was only 10 years old.

She rarely missed going to the parade until finally she was in the parade.

For 31 years, Patricia worked as part of the Detroit Police Department, making her way up the ranks to an inspector. While she never worked as part of the mounted patrol, she offered to help her fellow officers.

“I offered to volunteer, to do barn work on weekends because they were short-staffed, and out of that opportunity came the opportunity to train with them,” said Patricia.

In 1984, she was asked to ride alongside them during the Thanksgiving parade, and did so for eight years until she retired in 1992.

“They were extraordinary," Patricia said. "The people, it’s all about the people, the children especially."

Even though she’s no longer in the Thanksgiving Parade, she now makes it a point to always show up on Woodward.

She’s done so since she was 10 years old, rarely missing the opportunity to be part of the crowd. The love of the parade is something she has passed down to her grandson, Chris.

Chris now lives in Grand Rapids, but grew up Downriver. The more than a hundred miles between Chris and his grandmother does not keep him from attending the parade. Especially since he loves to run in the Turkey Trot, something his family now watches him do every year.

“That goes to show how much family means to you, because it’s not just like 'hey, we do this thing every year and we go and sit down at the parade', now we are going to do something else, and we are going to accommodate that and make sure we have fun and everyone can do what they want to do and still see the parade,” said Chris.

“We look forward to just being there together, I have a couple pictures of us on my cell phone at the starting line and he’ll call and say ‘Grandma I am going to be here, are we going?’ Yeah were are going,” said Patricia.