Chicago Auto Show previews charity gala

On Chicago's West Side, several chefs set out to prime our taste buds for the Chicago Auto Show, which is just over three weeks away.

"We're very excited to be back," said Jason Roberts, chair of the Chicago Auto Show, First Look for Charity.

Thursday's preview party at Goose Island Barrel House was designed to rev up interest in the gala, by showcasing what's on the menu. 

The black tie affair with fancy food kicks off the auto show excitement on Feb. 11

"The event is going to be just an opportunity for us to give back to the community. We're supporting 17 local charities, and we hope to raise over $2 million," said Roberts.

Last year, the gala had to go online, while the signature car show moved to summer, with a smaller, partially outdoor show.

Even though the boat show canceled this month due to COVID, the Chicago Auto Show plans a full return to its 10-day February tradition.


"I think people in Chicago especially have just come to find the Chicago Auto Show is just such a great winter tradition. The excitement is there. The participation is there. So we're feeling very hopeful and very excited for February," said Jennifer Morand, Spokesperson, Chicago Automobile Trade Association.

Vaccinations will be required at the charity gala but not at the auto show itself. 

However, you will have to show proof of vaccination to enter designated eating and drinking areas at the show. 

Plus, people age two and up will be required to wear masks.

For car dealers, the return of the show means a big kick off to spring, even with the ongoing chip shortage that's cutting down inventory.

"There will definitely be more cars at the auto show than there will be in most dealers' inventory," said Roberts.

The Chicago Auto Show drives back into McCormick Place Feb. 12 through the 21st.