In your schools. In the library. Running farms. Putting out fires. Working on town projects. The list goes on.
And because of those wonderful contributions – and the lineage that comes with it – the family tree that has Harvey Ort Sr. at the top will lead the Washington Township Parade celebrating the town’s 275th birthday on Saturday, Sept. 21.
All 12 volunteers on the Washington Township Community Events Organization (WTCEO) decided the family – not just one member – should Grand Marshal the parade because of its contributions to the township, according to member Jenn Drake.
“We put the question out there on (Long Valley) Patch and asked around the town,” Drake said. “Harvey’s name came up a few times but we thought, ‘why just a single person?’”
After a few more discussions, Drake said the committee decided to honor the entire family and have them lead the parade.
Of Ort’s 11 children, seven still live in Long Valley, Drake said. The remaining four, who live between Long Island and Florida, will be in attendance or represented by family members on the first float in the 50-participant parade, Drake said.
Those family members’ children and families have also been invited to take part.
“(The family) is excited about it,” Drake said. “They’ve had some family meetings about it and made t-shirts for the event.”
The parade will run from the intersection of Old Farmers Road and East Mill Road, go through the center of Long Valley and end at the Long Valley Middle School, the site of the Fireworks Festival which will begin at 5 p.m. Fireworks are set to blast off somewhere around 8:30 p.m., Drake said.
The parade route itself was not authorized until 10 days before the event itself, after the WTCEO and police department could not come to terms on the starting location. That was all ironed out at last week’s Washington Township Committee work session, though.