For more than 50 years, the town of Wilmington, N.C. has hosted the region’s annual “Cape Fear Fair and Expo” featuring games, food and various agricultural exhibits and contests. The fair draws visitors from surrounding counties, and is a fun way for local businesses to celebrate their creativity and showcase their skills.
In late 2019, U-Haul neighborhood dealer Julie Congleton, who co-owns Heathcliff Road Storage and U-Haul Dealership, decided to get in on the action by decorating a 4′ x 8′ booth for the fair’s “educational exhibits” category. The theme was “Farm to Fair.” Congleton’s colleague, Dale Ritz, joined the efforts.
Plastic veggies and toy trailers
For their booth, Congleton and Ritz constructed a miniature hay-and-pumpkin farm, complete with farmers, livestock and agricultural products. As the exhibit’s pièce de résistance, they included a vintage U-Haul toy truck-and-trailer combination, loaded with miniature plastic vegetables.
“In addition to my current work as a U-Haul dealer, I run a poultry commune with my son, Mason. I have several years of experience as a horse farmer,” Congleton stated. “Dale and I were excited to put our agricultural know-how to the test by building a fun and educational booth that visitors would enjoy looking at.
“Our farmer also needs to transport his veggies to the county fair. There’s no better way to do that than by sharing a U-Haul truck-and-trailer combination — the best in the do-it-yourself moving industry! We wanted our exhibit to pay homage to U-Haul products and services. Utilizing a toy truck and trailer to make our mini farmer’s life easier just seemed like a natural choice.”
U-Haul memorabilia to spare
At Heathcliff Road Storage, visitors will see a sprawling handmade shelf that is covered in U-Haul memorabilia, including the aforementioned toy trucks and trailers.
“Area field managers have often brought other U-Haul Team Members to visit our dealership, so they could take a look at our extensive collection of U-Haul memorabilia,” Congleton stated. “It’s one of the many ways that we show off our ‘orange blood’ at Heathcliff Road Storage.
“We love being U-Haul dealers, and we welcome every opportunity to teach others about the Company and what it represents. By incorporating U-Haul into our booth, we hope that we’ve piqued people’s interest and reminded them that U-Haul truly is the No.1 choice for all of their moving needs.”
And the winner is …
After a thorough examination by the judges, the verdict was finally in: Congleton’s and Ritz’s booth had won first place.
“We’re very happy that we won, and even more grateful for the experience,” Congleton noted. “And, we’re especially grateful to be part of the U-Haul family. County fairs and U-Haul trucks … what a winning combination!”