ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The automotive parts chain Advance Auto Parts celebrated its 90th year in business at a Roanoke store on Wednesday.

The commemoration on Wednesday, July 13 — which was held in Roanoke because the Star City is home to two of the company’s original locations — featured company leadership, city dignitaries, and local first responders, according to Advance Auto Parts.

The company says it began in 1932 when Roanoke community leader Arthur Taubman purchased a three-store chain of auto and home supply stores called Advance Stores. Since then, Advance Auto Parts has expanded to more than 4,600 stores and is one of the largest automotive retailers in the country.

The City of Roanoke reportedly remains a support hub for the company, with over 900 employees based in the area supporting the company’s corporate functions, the Roanoke distribution center, and hundreds of retail locations.

“There is no better place than Roanoke to celebrate this occasion, where so many of our team members live and work, including myself,” said Tammy Finley, Advance’s executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. “Roanoke is where our journey as a company began, and we are proud to continue our presence in this great city today.”

Wednesday’s celebration included a partnership announcement between Advance Auto Parts, the Roanoke Police Department, and Roanoke Fire-EMS. Both departments were given a gift card donation totaling $2,500, according to Advance Auto Parts.

Through this donation, the company says Roanoke Police will help increase roadway safety by giving out $25 Advance Auto Parts gift cards to drivers dealing with vehicle equipment issues instead of issuing the cost of a citation. Meanwhile, Roanoke Fire-EMS will distribute $25 gift cards to recognize citizens attending community-based activities, like child safety seat installations, free smoke alarm giveaways, and public education events.

“For generations, motorists in this community have trusted Advance for their automotive needs and we look forward to continuing to serve Roanoke for many years to come,” Finley said.  

Advance Auto Parts says its 90th anniversary will continue to be celebrated through the “Drive of Your Life” program, where drivers across the country can win a free year of gas.

To enter, drivers must submit their most memorable drives on Twitter, Instagram, or Advanceiversary.com using the hashtag #DriveOfYourLifeContest. Every day from now through July 31, one winner will be picked and awarded free gas for a year.