The Jacksonville International Auto Show opens Thursday through Sunday
The Jacksonville International Auto Show returns to its usual February timeslot Thursday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
After last year’s somewhat smaller and delayed event due to COVID-19, the 2022 show adds a fourth day and new attractions as well as a OneBlood drive and food bank.
Last year’s show had to be moved from February to May due to the effect of the pandemic, ending up being one of the few automotive events last spring, said Lowell Briggs, chief marketing officer of Paragon Expo, which hosts the living room.
“The fact that we got it is a tribute to the Automobile Dealers Association and the people of Jacksonville who kept coming to the show,” Briggs said. “…We’re looking forward to things getting closer to normal this year. There’s a whole new set of challenges, but the people of Jacksonville come to the show and support it, and the dealer association supports it. , and that’s all we really need.”
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Models of around 30 major car lines will be on display at the convention center at 1000 Water St. Visitors are allowed to sit and peek at what’s under the hoods of trucks, SUVs , crossovers and cars on display.
The new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, as well as the company’s electric Bronco, Maverick and Mustang Mach-E, are expected to be at the show. Chevrolet will introduce its new mid-engine Corvette Stingray.
Other new models expected include the Subaru Outback Wilderness, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler 4XE plug-in hybrid. Exotic cars will be featured from Bentley, Lotus, Maserati and Porsche. Road tests will be offered by Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram outside.
The pandemic may be easing, but some safety measures are still in effect, Briggs said. The Convention Center box office will not accept cash for tickets, only debit or credit. Spectators are encouraged to wear masks, but it is not mandatory. The show’s design encourages social distancing and teams will perform regular cleaning daily with hand sanitizer stations.
Organizers expect attendance to be higher than last year and closer to 2020, Briggs said.
“The extra day is really a way to give more people the opportunity to see the show,” he said.
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The pandemic has caused supply chain issues for automakers, leaving some dealership lots a bit empty as they face a shortage of computer chips. It’s “definitely challenged” the auto show circuit, but they have a way of making sure there are plenty of trucks, cars and crossovers to see, Briggs said.
“There’s no doubt there would be an impact on the show and the amount of new vehicles we get,” he said. “One of the ways around this is through the support of the dealers themselves in the area. While a manufacturer may not have certain vehicles available, their local dealer has some and has agreed to come.”
Other events on the show include adopting a puppy as part of Subaru Loves Pets. The Classic Car Museum in St. Augustine will feature a display of some of its classic muscle vehicles, including an AC Cobra, Pontiac GTO, and Pontiac Trans Am. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America features 1992 Ford Thunderbird race car # 28 of NASCAR racer Davey Allison.
Local auto clubs will participate in expanded displays in the yard, with Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes on Friday’s German Car Day, the Jacksonville Corvette Club’s Corvette Circle on Saturday and the Jacksonville Mustang Club show on Sunday. The BMX stunt team Trickstars returns with daily broadcasts from Friday to Monday.
There’s a community food drive on Thursdays from 3-9 p.m. to benefit Feeding Northeast Florida, with half-price show tickets at $6.50 for adults and $3 for children. Admission from Friday to Sunday is $13 per adult and $6 for children (under 6s are free). Friday is Active Military and Active First Responder Day with free admission with valid ID.
Show times are noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free through VyStar Credit Union. For more information and e-tickets, visit jaxautoshow.com.
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