By Jueseppi B.
The 2012 Chicago Auto Show will be held from February 10 through February 19, with press days starting on February 8.
The Chicago Auto Show is held annually in February at Chicago‘s McCormick Place convention complex. It is the largest auto show in North America. The event, first produced in 1901, has been staged more times than any other auto show in North America and continues to be one of the best-attended in the world. Over one million visitors attend each year.
2008 marked the Chicago Auto Show’s 100th iteration. It is the first auto show anywhere in the world to have achieved this distinction.
Due to the vast amount of space available, several auto manufacturers have implemented creative uses of their exhibit space in recent years. For example, at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, Pontiac and Chrysler hosted free concerts at their exhibits. The BoDeans and OK Go are among those who performed at Pontiac’s stage. Chrysler Group created the world’s largest indoor test track, and allowed attendees to ride along on a test-drive of their SUVs and trucks in extreme simulated conditions in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008; Toyota configured a similar experiential ride course for the 2011 show
- Adults: $11
- Seniors (62+): $7
- Children (7-12): $7
- Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult.
The Chicago Auto Show provides various ways to score discount coupons and half-price weekday admission.
Getting to the Chicago Auto Show By Public Transportation:
Parking at the Chicago Auto Show:
There are 3 parking lots/garages at McCormick Place with almost 6,000 parking spaces. Prices range from $14-19 per day.
On the weekends, there are also shuttles running from the Millennium Park parking garage to the show.
About the Chicago Auto Show:
The Chicago Auto Show, being the largest in North America, draws almost every possible auto maker eager to show off their new line of cars and concept vehicles. Utilizing over 1.3 million square feet of exhibit space at McCormick Place, it’s crammed with cars, trucks, and SUVs, most readily available for visitors to climb in and check out the feeling behind the wheel (alas, you can’t actually start or drive them). While this is great fun for auto buffs, it has a practical purpose as well — when shopping for a new car it’s nice to be able to sit in a number of different models and rule out certain ones due to lack of leg room, undesirable interior finishes, etc., without having to drive around to numerous dealerships.
But the big hits are the concept cars and the revealing of new production models. A number of vehicles make their production debuts at the show, and the concept cars are trotted out to gain press for the auto makers.
Trivia tidbit: the Chicago Auto Show went on hiatus from 1943 – 1950, as interest in cars took a backseat to the production of tanks and military vehicles during World War II. This explains the 7 year discrepancy between the start date of 1901 and its anniversary number.
And finally….Name another event that mixes superlative food and drink and the elegance of formal dress . . . and a harmonica virtuoso? You’ll get all that plus the inaugural viewing of the 2012 Chicago Auto Show at the benevolent gala, First Look for Charity. Eighteen vital Chicago area charities will benefit from the more than $2 million expected to be raised by First Look for Charity. Now in its 21st year, First Look for Charity appears prominently on the calendars of both socialites and car buffs. Abundant hors d’oeuvres, champagne, wine, soft drinks and desserts await at the nation’s largest auto show. To attend, visit http://firstlookforcharity.org or call (630) 495-2282