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Chicago Auto Show: What You Need to Know About This Weekend's Convention

From parking to tickets, here's what you need to know about Chicago's big car show

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Chicago Auto Show returns to the city this weekend for the first time in more than a year, after taking a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Auto Show will take place this weekend through Monday, shorter than the usual nine-day run that takes place in the winter. It will also be held both indoors and outdoors for the first time since it started in Chicago in 1901, officials said.

Here's what you need to know:

How can I get a ticket?

Tickets for the Chicago Auto Show are available here and must be purchased online. At the door, attendees can provide their tickets as a physical copy or through a mobile phone.

These are this summer's ticket prices:

  • $13 for adults
  • $10 for seniors 62+
  • $10 for children 12 and under

Organizers recommend showing up 30 minutes prior to the time slot selected on the ticket. Each ticket allows for one re-entry that same day, according to the website.

Do I need to show proof of COVID vaccination?

Unlike some major Chicago events, the Auto Show will not require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to officials.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that although people will not need proof of a COVID vaccination to attend the iconic show, registration will be required.

"Everyone will register after they buy a ticket, they'll register and then they will have to fill out a short medical questionnaire," Pritzker said.

The questionnaire will ensure that everyone attending is "healthy," according to the governor, but he did not provide details on what questions will be asked. Pritzker noted that one question will ask whether an individual as been vaccinated or not, but there won't be a requirement.

Do I have to wear a mask at the convention?

A mask is not required for attendees who have been vaccinated, according to the website. For those who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID, a mask is required.

Organizers recommend bringing a mask to the show regardless of vaccination status in case individuals would like to participate in test rides.

Other safety measures that will be put in place include: a move to Hall F in West Building, timed entrance windows and staggered entry to prevent congestion, a face mask requirement at all times, sanitization stations, contactless delivery for tickets, a temperature scan and medical questionnaire before entry and more.

What are my parking options?

There's on-site parking at McCormick Place in Lots A, B and C. The pricing goes as follows:

  • Lot A: $25 (or $30 after 16 hours) 
  • Lot B: $17
  • Lot C: $25

After 6 p.m., the prices drop to $11, according to the website. Hyatt Regency McCormick Place also has valet parking for those not staying at the hotel.

Does it cost extra money to test drive the cars?

No, there's no additional cost to test drive the vehicles at the exhibition. Attendees can ride in the car with a professional driver while inside McCormick Place.

Some cars also have the option to be driven by attendees on an outdoor track. There's no age limit to those who would like to ride in the cars, but they must be at least 42 inches tall.

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