More than 25 automakers from around the globe are gearing up for the grand opening of the 2017 Dayton Auto Show, which starts admitting the public at noon Feb. 23, inside the Dayton Convention Center.
The show is open daily until Feb. 26. As always, the show features more than 200 cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, minivans, hybrids and motorcycles. A wealth of entertainment options and interactive exhibits will engage the entire family.
Sure to be a show highlight is the chance made possible by the Miami Valley Chevrolet Dealers to win a two-year lease on a 2017 Chevy Cruze LS sedan. To enter, visit a Chevy dealership between now and the show, or enter up until 1:30 p.m. on the last day of the show. A final drawing will take place at 3 p.m. that day, and you must be present to win.
Other highlights will include:
• The latest in advanced automotive technologies, including a simulator in the Toyota area that is addressing the of-the-moment topic of distracted driving, courtesy of Dayton Area Toyota Dealers;
• Dealership personnel and manufacturers’ specialists on hand to answer questions and provide information in a cannot-pressure-you-to-buy environment;
• Domestic/foreign and luxury makes to more cost-friendly vehicles that you can sit in and try out yourself;
• A Toyota Drive Center featuring four different models for test-driving around downtown Dayton, plus Fiat/Chrysler offering its first-time ride and drive experience in which every one of its brands will be represented
The great thing about the Dayton Auto Show versus an international show like Detroit’s is that “you’re looking at reality,” said Ami DeAngelo, Dayton Auto Show director of events. “You’re going to be looking at vehicles you’re interested in right now – not a lot of crazy concepts that might be built years from now. It’s more personal. You’re talking to dealers right down the street.”
The auto industry continues to play a vital role in Ohio’s economy, accounting for $31.1 billion in sales and 17.6 percent of total retail sales statewide. Last year marked the seventh consecutive year of growth for the U.S. auto industry, with new vehicle sales reaching 17.55 million – topping 2015’s already record-breaking numbers.
“The auto industry continues to be an essential part of the Dayton economy, and 2016 was certainly no exception,” DeAngelo said. “The annual auto show is a chance for Daytonians to celebrate the community’s economic vitality and get a glimpse at what’s next on the horizon in the auto world.”
Show attendees will be able to do just that as they will see the latest from the following exhibitors, as of Feb. 15: Acura, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
As in previous years, the Dayton Auto Show will host an array of special events throughout the show, including:
• Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleaders April and Ashlee Feb. 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Acura display;
• Matt the Balloon Guy and Face Doodles by Jen face painting, Feb. 25 and 26, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.;
• Animals from Wild Heart Mobile Teaching Zoo Feb. 25 and 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.
• Appearance by Heater and Gem from the Dayton Dragons Feb. 26
• “Picture This” photo scavenger hunt around the show floor, with a chance to win a 55-inch Samsung LED Smart 4k Ultra HD TV
• Dayton Dragon prize packs awarded to winners of the “Are you here yet?” social media contest. Attendees can “check in” at the show on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and post a show photo with the hashtag #DaytonAutoShow to enter.
Admission is $8 for adults at the door, $6 online at https://secure.interactiveticketing.com/1.12/b9b3a0/#/select. Children ages 9 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult. They’ll also receive a small, free toy.
New this year is Military Appreciation Day, with all with military ID gaining free entry Feb. 23 (not Feb. 24, as was erroneously reported earlier), courtesy of Dayton Area Toyota Dealers. Tickets for Senior Day Feb. 24 (not Feb. 23, as is erroneously reported elsewhere), for those age 55-plus, will be $6. Student discount with student ID is $6 at the door.
For the first time, I’ll be streaming on Facebook Live when the show opens Feb. 23.
For more information about show hours, schedule of events, directions and parking, visit daytondailynews.com/autoshow, daytondailynews.com/cars and daytonautoshow.com. Also, look for a special 2017 Dayton Auto Show tabloid inserted in the Feb. 19 Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun.