Robert Picard puts on the official orange windbreaker of the Grand Marshal of the Autumnfest Parade during the Woonsocket Rotary Club's luncheon meeting Thursday. (Photo/Ernest A. Brown)
WOONSOCKET â€“ Robert Picard donned a piece of clothing Thursday that he probably earned many years ago: the orange windbreaker of the Grand Marshal of the Autumnfest Parade.
The honor was bestowed on Picard during the Rotary Club's meeting at River Falls and appeared to catch him completely by surprise. Picard is a longtime member and past president of the Rotary Club and has volunteered for the Autumnfest Committee in a number of capacities for more than 30 years.
Despite his years of working with both organizations, Picard had not worn the Grand Marshal's jacket until he was called up to the Rotary Club podium Thursday afternoon.
Autumnfest Steering Committee Chairman Tim Paul interrupted the meeting with an entourage of committee volunteers to announce this year's Grand Marshal and hinted at Picard's impending honor by saying the honoree had a longtime connection to the city's annual Columbus Day Weekend festival.
Read more in Friday's print edition.