Steve Gill believes there’s no place like home, and he’s so happy to be back in Bridgeport.
The feeling is clearly mutual — he was chosen as the grand marshal of the 2023 Citizens United for a Better Bridgeport Christmas Parade.
“I am truly honored to be selected for this role,” he says.
Gill, a 1981 graduate of Bridgeport High School, moved away shortly after graduation but returned to his hometown 3 years ago to care for his ailing father. He is the son of the late Homer and Brenda Gill. He has 1 brother, Shane Gill, and his faithful sidekick, a black Great Dane named Nick, a puppy weighing in at 115 pounds.
When he moved back home to care for his dad, Gill began making wreaths and designing floral arrangements. He launched a business, Steve’s Twisted & Knotted, making wreaths with items foraged from the forest. His designs often feature grapevines and driftwood, and he prides himself in making unique arrangements for clients. He is also an event planner, and he loves helping with community happenings whenever he can.
Gill’s 1st Christmas back in Bridgeport was a special 1. He knew COVID-19 restrictions would limit large holiday events, so he and his father came up with a plan to spread some Christmas joy. After coming across some baskets while out shopping, Steve knew just what he would do — fill them with items and deliver them to people in the community.
“We had such a good time,” he says. “Dad and I would put on silly hats, and we even put reindeer antlers on the dogs,” he says. The duo made and delivered 35 baskets filled with fruit cookies, Christmas tea towels and other items they thought the recipients would enjoy.
Even though Homer died last October, Gill says he is carrying on their tradition this year with the help of a friend.
Gill is an active member of the Bridgeport Lions Club, the Bridgeport Local Leadership Team of the Tennessee River Alliance, and volunteers for the Veterans Association. He was instrumental in organizing the BHS alumni reunion in 2022. He is known throughout the community as someone who can be depended on to pitch in and help whenever needed.
“I love my hometown and I want to be part of our growing community,” he says. “I’ve been all over the U.S., and it’s nothing like being in your hometown and seeing people you know while out running errands and just living life. I just love being back.”
The parade will be held on December 2 in downtown Bridgeport.