by Lindsey Grutchfield
MONTPELIER — In the 1954 hit film The Long, Long Trailer, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz set off across the country in a trailer, hoping to see the world. Needless to say, things don’t go exactly as planned. Now, modern day trailer fans and passersby by will have the opportunity to venture around and through trailers just like Lucille and Desi’s during Montpelier’s first Vintage Trailer Show.
The Vermont Vintage Trailer Show will occur August 8, and will feature vintage trailers dating from the 50s through the 70s. These trailers will be exhibited along State and Main Streets and in the parking lot behind Positive Pie, where property owner and event co-organizer Jesse Jacobs says he has reserved 35 parking spots. As an added bonus to those showcasing trailers, Jacobs has rented 35 camping spots at Little River Campground for their benefit. He says of vintage trailer enthusiasts, “they love to show off their trailers, and they love to camp.”
With Jacobs, the greatest force behind the organization of this event is Steve Hingtgen, owner of Vintage Trailer Supply. His company is something of a general store when it comes to what he calls “the lifestyle,” supplying everything from awnings to windows for vintage trailers. Hingtgen himself owns a 1956 Airstream and a 1946 Curtis Wright.
Although Vermont does not yet have much in the way of vintage trailer events, there is a very popular niche culture of vintage trailer enthusiasts in this country, particularly out West, according to Hingtgen. Hingtgen’s company serves customers all over the world, and the Vermont Vintage Trailer show itself will have trailers on display from no fewer than 10 states.
The Vermont Vintage Trailer Show is the same weekend as the Stowe Annual Antique Car Show, which is not exactly a coincidence. Says Hingtgen, “(Jacobs and I) thought this was a great way to introduce the public to the lifestyle and also bring a few tourists to town who might be in the region for the Stowe vintage car show the same weekend.”
During the trailer show, life downtown will inevitably be altered, as State Street and the parking lot behind Positive Pie will be closed off not only during the event, but from the early morning to 5:00 pm the day of. This is due to the unavoidable chaos of parking and unparking 35 trailers in a confined space. With that said, businesses downtown are mostly on board. Says Ashley Witzenberger of Montpelier Alive, which is supporting the event, “We do a lot of events that require shutting down State Street to vehicular traffic. This is a slight disruption to traffic but there are many ways around it. It’s all worth it to have so many people downtown for such a great event.”