Vroom, vroom, the Chicago Auto Show returns (finally!) to McCormick Place, this year with some fresh, new twists. On June 7, a pop-up preview was unveiled for media. It provided a first-look at what will take place at this reimagined show coming July 15-18. A street festival component will be added in addition to the traditional viewing of new cars, trucks and concept models.
During the preview, guests mingled along Indiana Avenue outside Gate 41 of the West Building of McCormick Place (where the main event will be held). Cars on display included the 2021 Lexus NX Hybrid 300h, Jeep 4xe, Toyota Supra, a Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler Sahara and a Dodge Ram 1500 TRX, among others. As the Freddie Dixon Blues Band played, attendees enjoyed food trucks and stands serving Andy's Frozen Custard, Connie's Pizza, BBQ from Smoke Daddy and 312 Lemonade Shandy.
At the actual event, the festival will be expanded along 2300 S. Indiana Avenue to 24th Place, and include 6-8 food trucks, 40 vehicles on display, outdoor test tracks, pop-up street musicians and beers from local brewing companies like Goose Island.
Chicago Auto Show general manager David Sloan said, "We're so thrilled that we were able to help McCormick Place open. Early on, they figured out that we were going to be their best chance to get reopened, so we've been working with them and city and state officials for months, not knowing exactly when it would be but, this July, a smaller, shorter show with an outdoor element just came together. We'll have at least 50 cars for people to test drive on city streets, not to mention the Bronco, the Bronco Sport Test Track and electric vehicles that people can drive to get a feel for what these vehicles are like so, lots going on and we couldn't be more excited to get it going!"
Sloan spoke about what to expect at the festival and what the night-time activities would look like. "In the evening, about 6 o'clock, we'll shut down the outdoor test drives and take all those vehicles that are lined up, clean 'em up a little bit, and put them on display on Indiana Avenue. Then, we'll roll in some food trucks and great entertainment like the Freddie Dixon Blues Band and we'll get a couple of local breweries and we'll throw a street fest for 3 or 4 hours until the end of the show."
Kelley Enright, GPR manager and RAM PR manager for the Midwest Region, said, "We're super excited because we missed February like everybody else. I think it's great that we can be both inside and outside at McCormick Place and I also think it's going to attract a lot more consumers because they can test drive vehicles outside. We're bringing back the Camp Jeep Test Track for the 17th year and we'll have a brand new vehicle on there which is going to show awesome capability and quiet, which is the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. People have always loved the Jeep Wrangler but now we're offering a plug-in hybrid version that people will be able to test drive on the track inside. And we'll also have our RAM Truck Territory Test Track back again with RAM 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks that people can test drive to feel the power, torque and capability, and just to have some good 'ole fun!"
(For more info, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com)