Nasuti named Autumnfest grand marshal

Nasuti named Autumnfest grand marshal

Autumnfest Parade Chairwoman Linda Plays, left, presents Carol Nasuti with an Autumnfest jacket in honor of her husband, the late George Nasuti.

WOONSOCKET – The Autumnfest Steering Committee has named the late George Nasuti grand marshal of the 2014 Autumnfest Parade, with wife Carol Nasuti to walk in his stead.

Nasuti, a beloved coach, principal, and athletic director for the Woonsocket public school system died tragically from head injuries after he fell while refereeing a youth basketball game in Burrillville in February.

"Each year, we look around for someone who's had an impact on the community," explained Linda Plays, who is serving as parade chairwoman at the annual celebration.

"When we got together this year and talked about the grand marshal, we pretty much had a one track mind as a committee," said Autumnfest General Chairman Jeff Gamache. "We all really wanted to recognize George Nasuti and the beautiful Nasuti family, and the community spirit which they bring."

A crew of around a dozen committee members, all donning bright orange Autumnfest jackets, took Carol Nasuti by surprise on Thursday, Aug. 28, presenting her with a jacket of her own. The Woonsocket High School football team, guided for many years by the well-respected coach, joined the committee in the bleachers at Barry Field for the presentation.

The theme of the 36th annual parade, to be held on Columbus Day, is "community pride."

"We want to continue the work that George did," said Plays. "There will be floats. There will be bands. There will be civic groups. And in George's legacy, we'll have community pride at this one. George was always there when you needed him and he just displayed the exact thing that the grand marshal should."

An emotional Carol said that while her husband would have been embarrassed by all of the attention, "he would be quite honored and proud."

The Grand Marshal reception will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at St Ann Arts and Cultural Center. Tickets can be purchased by contacting any member of the committee. To learn more about the 2014 Autumnfest Steering Committee visit http://www.autumnfest.org/autumnfest-steering-commitee/ .