By Kate Gillespie, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The Applefest Committee recently announced that longtime Northborough resident Arthur Cole will serve as grand marshal in this year's festivities taking place Sept. 19-21. Many local residents nominated Cole due to his outstanding work on the Northborough Trails Committee as well as his more than 20 years of involvement in Northborough town government.
Cole first moved to Northborough at 12 years old. He attended Northborough High School before studying at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he received a degree in history. Shortly after, he married his wife Barbara, also of Northborough, and joined the U.S. Army due to the outbreak of the Korean War. He moved back to Northborough after serving to teach at Northborough High School, and has lived there ever since.
Cole taught at Northborough High School for three years before leaving to join the housing business. He started a successful painting business that is now owned by his two sons. However, he wanted to remain involved in Northborough, especially the school system. He served on the Planning Board, helping to create Northborough's zoning bylaws.
After three years, he joined the school committee, where he eventually served as chair. His most noticeable achievement, however, is the formation of the Northborough Trails Committee in 1999, where he served as founding member and chair for over a decade. The committee built over 15 trails throughout Northborough that together stretch over 25 miles. The committee even named two trails after Cole: the Cole Trail, and the Coyote Trail, named for the time a coyote attacked Cole along that stretch.
Cole said he is excited to serve as grand marshal for this year's event. Fall is his favorite season, due to the fabulous weather in New England. Like many Applefest attendees, Cole loves apples, especially when found in apple pie. The street fair is his favorite part of the weekend festivities. This year, Cole is most looking forward to seeing his four children and six grandchildren while riding in the parade.
For more information about Applefest, visit www.northboroughapplefest.com.