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Get ready for a parade!

Kids of all ages are likely grinning ear to ear in anticipation as they await the 2019 edition of the New Tazewell Merchants’ Parade — an event referred to locally as the official start of the holiday season. The New Tazewell Merchants Association is proud to present “An All American Christmas.” This is the 46th year that the well-loved event has been meticulously planned, and it promises to be as much a fun-filled day as ever.

The Merchants Parade will kick off promptly at 1 p.m. on Nov. 23, in the Cumberland Gallery Shopping Center parking lot. The caravan will proceed from Ingles, up Broad Street to Walgreens. The parade route will be blocked off and motorists detoured shortly before the event begins.

This year, event coordinators have stepped outside the norm by choosing Giles Industries as the honored merchant and the company’s general manager, Mike Comparato, as its grand marshal.

Giles is celebrating 60 years of continuous operation inside Claiborne County – a feat worthy of recognition.

Since its opening in 1959, founder R. O. Giles’ philosophy of producing only the highest-quality manufactured homes has led to the satisfaction of well over 86,000 customers. In Giles’ world, a healthy relationship with the company’s clients ranks as high as the number of sales achieved.

At Giles Industries, employees come and stay – many over the course of a career.

Roscoe ‘Junior’ Gibson, who was hired into the cabinet shop in 1962, remained some 41 years until his retirement as the shop’s team leader.

That was when his son, Alvie Gibson, took on the leadership.

“My dad retired in October 2003, but I’ve led the cabinet team since that time, continuing to provide craftsmanship that makes my dad and Giles Industries proud. I work here because I love the work and the people – and because I’m committed to building houses our customers can be proud of,” said the younger Gibson, as quoted on the company website.

Giles Industries was recently recognized by the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) as the Best in the Industry for Manufacturing Facilities.

This and numerous other awards have kept Giles thriving throughout its six decades, despite the ups and downs in our economy.

For a complete list of parade rules, float judging criteria and more, visit the New Tazewell Merchant Association Facebook page.

You may pre-register your float at the Sign Center, located just south of Pizza Plus in New Tazewell. Registration is open up to the day of the parade.

For more information, call 423-626-1575.