Toledo Auto Show cruising into town Feb. 6-9Written by Holly Tuey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year again: The Toledo Auto Show is cruising into town.
Twenty-five automobile manufacturers will be set up at the show this year, which is set for Feb. 6-9 at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Downtown Toledo.
People come from all over to see the newest makes and models from local dealers and manufacturers, but there’s more to the show than just the cars.
“It’s very family-friendly,” said Leslie Fulford of Fleisher Communications Group, which is handling public relations for the show. “There are a lot of great shows and things for kids.”
Fulford said this year will be more interactive. Organizers are already trying to get people engaged through social media, but will also have special activities during the show, such as a contest to find and take a picture of Muddy the Mud Hen. A winner will be drawn from the pictures sent in each day of the show.
Muddy will be joined by Muddonna and Matt the Balloon Guy, who can make just about anything out of balloons — from motorcycles to superheroes, Fulford said.
“The automotive industry employs more than 50,000 Ohioans,” said Marie Gilman, auto show manager of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association. “Our annual auto shows provide a unique opportunity for consumers and enthusiasts alike to celebrate the auto industry in Ohio, as they get a glimpse of the new innovations that will be available in 2014. They also provide a forum to highlight the extraordinary contributions that auto dealerships make to our communities.”
The show this year will include interactive exhibits and there will be experts on hand to answer any questions.
“There’s a nice cross-sampling of all makes and models,” said Paul Devers of Vin Devers Autohaus in Sylvania. “[People can] touch and feel, and get in the cars. … It’s a nice venue to get out and not have to fight the crowds, like at the Detroit show.”
Vin Devers has been involved with the Toledo Auto Show since 1956, but the Toledo Automobile Dealers Association has held the show since the organization was founded in 1918.
Vin Devers sells Audi and Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, but general manager Jason Perry said people are often surprised to see how affordable their cars can be.
“We have two cars in the showroom this year with a base price of $30,000,” Perry said. “It’s going to be an exciting event.”
According to Perry and Devers, the Feb. 5 gala that kicks off the auto show is what it’s really all about. Auto Dealers United for Kids has hosted the event for 11 years now. The nonprofit organization raises money for local scholarships and charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation and Kids Unlimited. Devers is chairman for the event this year, and said it is the one time of the year the local auto community gets together to hold a big fundraiser. He expects the event will raise around $250,000 this year.
“Hollywood Casino [Toledo] was very generous to partner up with us on this event this year,” Devers said. “We’re very pleased with the local casino giving back to this great cause we have.”
The casino is offering gaming tables for the event. Casino staff will deal for blackjack and poker and run craps and roulette tables. Guests will be able to gamble, enjoy gourmet food and an open bar, and at the end of the night can turn their chips in for raffle tickets.
Prizes include a trip for two to Las Vegas, a three-month summer test drive in an Audi convertible, and several $1,000 Marquee cards, each worth $1,000 playing credit at the casino.
“It’s been a great event and we’re really happy to give back,” Devers said.
Tickets to the Toledo Auto Show are $6 for adults and children ages 13 and older, $4 for seniors and students with ID and free for children 12 and younger. For more information, visit www.toledoautoshow.org.
Tags: Audi, Auto Dealers United for Kids, general manager Jason Perry, Hollywood Casino, Kids Unlimited, Las Vegas, Leslie Fulford of Fleisher Communications Group, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Matt the Balloon Guy, Mercedes-Benz, Muddonna, Muddy the Mud Hen, Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, Paul Devers of Vin Devers Autohaus in Sylvania, SeaGate Convention Centre, The Toledo Auto Show