Two of Nevada City’s most prolific volunteers, George and Pat Harper, have been named as grand marshals of the 44th Annual Nevada City Constitution Day Parade.
The grand marshals were announced Tuesday (Aug. 24) by Nevada City Constitution Day Commission Chairman Dennis Cassella.
The Harpers have been members of the Nevada City Constitution Day Commission since it was formed in 1987 and have coordinated the annual Constitution Day Parade since 1989. They have also conducted Nevada City’s Fourth of July parades for several years.
On Sunday, Sept. 12, as always on parade days, the longtime Nevada City couple will be at the top of Broad Street, making sure the parade runs in an orderly fashion.
They will take a few minutes off to ride down Broad Street in a horsedrawn carriage as this year’s grand marshals. They will then resume their duties at the staging area.
After 20 years, the couple still rejoices in Nevada City’s parades.
“It’s just fun, we love it,” says George Harper. “We know what we’re doing and they keep asking us to do it.
“Nevada City is the best little city in the world and it’s my hometown,” he said. “We just want to do our part.”
Harper, a Nevada City native, is retired from a 30-year career with the Nevada County Dept. of Public Works. Pat Harper retired from the Nevada County Superior Court.
George Harper is a 24-year member and past master of the Nevada City Masonic Lodge (Nevada Lodge No. 13), the group that founded and continues to sponsor the annual Constitution Day Parade. The Harpers are also active in Evangeline Chapter No. 9, Order of the Eastern Star.
They are enthusiastic volunteers for the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, where George volunteers every Monday morning. Both donate blood on a regular basis and are among Nevada County’s leading blood donors.
Due to his extraordinary community acitivities, George Harper was selected in 1996 to carry the Olympic Torch as it passed through nearby Marysville.
The rural Nevada City residents have three daughters and three grandsons.
The annual Nevada City Constitution Day Parade, a local tradition since 1967, is expected to include about 80 entries this year, including at least seven marching bands. The traditional community parade rolls down Broad Street at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.
The Constitution Day celebration is sponsored by Nevada Lodge No. 13, F.&A.M. in Nevada City, the 49er Breakfast Rotary Club of Nevada City and the Nevada City Constitution Day Commission.