By Ed Harris
Mary DeCroce is hoping to take the Batmobile for a ride in the upcoming Apple Harvest Festival parade.
DeCroce, a well known community volunteer, was recently selected as the Grand Marshal for the parade. Her duties will include leading off the parade, and her family hopes it will be in the original Batmobile from the 1960s television series.
The Batmobile has made a few appearances in the area in the last few months, including a stop at the recent Southington United Way dinner. DeCroce said she had a contact that might be able to make the dream possible, but noted that it was unclear whether to iconic automobile was still able to be driven.
“It was a complete surprise,” DeCroce said about being named grand marshal for the parade. “I was honored.”
DeCroce, a talented artist, is no stranger to the Apple Harvest Festival. She has served as the Harvest the Arts coordinator for the last five years. Harvest the Arts takes place the second weekend of the festival and it has been growing in scope every year.
She has brought in a multitude of artists over the years for various activities during the weekend and has spearheaded mural efforts that adorn the inside and outside walls of many downtown businesses.
DeCroce has also had a hand in various other murals in downtown Southington and along the linear trail. The most recent mural she helped coordinate was the “Because of 26” mural along Rails to Trails.
She heads Southington Community Cultural Arts (SCCA), which is in the process of trying to transform the Gura building into a home for the arts in town. DeCroce hoped that being named grand marshal would help people recognize the Gura revitalization effort.
“It’s a community effort everyone is involved in,” she said.
DeCroce has taught art at St. Dominic and the Southington YMCA. She has also participated in Relay for Life for the last nine years, including three as co-chair.
Chris Palmieri, chair of the festival supervisory committee, thanked DeCroce for everything that she has done for the festival and said the event is as successful as it is because of volunteers like DeCroce.
“She has made a big contribution to the community and the festival itself,” Palmieri said.
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