I love the Chicago Auto Show! Chuck and I used to go every year when he owned his advertising agency so it was with great excitement that I looked forward to returning this year. It did NOT disappoint! The Chicago Auto Show began with its 21st "First Look for Charity" ten days ago and ends today at McCormick Place. More than 8,000 people attended opening night alone to view 1000 vehicles scattered across 1.2 million square feet! This show is NOT high heel friendly but the people at Cadillac had thoughtfully provided pink slippers and foot massages at their gorgeous booth. This year's event raised more than $2 million for 18 local non-profits.
Blues Traveler performed while guests meandered through the space and enjoyed many interactive exhibits including a Jeep Wrangler obstacle course (one for kiddies, too), a Chevy Volt electric car ride, a playing card table at Scion and a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 engine experience among others. You could even renew your driver's license at the Secretary of State's booth!
Twenty restaurants participated including Fogo de Chao, 676 Restaurant & Bar at the Omni, Andy's Frozen Custard, Devon Seafood, Roy's Restaurant, Real Urban BBQ and David Burke's Primehouse.
This night was mandatory black tie and there was even a Men's Warehouse on premises to make sure this strict dress code was adhered to!
Cadillac donated two outstanding and much coveted raffle prizes. The first prize was won by Jill Nelson (Wheeling) who will be driving a 2012 Escalade soon and the second prize, donated by Chicagoland Cadillac Dealers, was a Cadillac SRX, won by Homer Glen's Richard Onik. And to make these prizes even more exciting, a year of free gas was included! Notables onstage for this giveaway included emcee Alison Rosati, Larry Wert, Steve Foley Jr. (auto show Chairman), Dave Sloan (General Manager) and Paul Brian (Director of Communications).
Since "First Look for Charity's" inception in 1992, this event has raised more than $34 million for Chicago area non-profits.
Watch for video coverage of opening night on my Watch312.com show, Candid Candace Chicago", coming soon! (All photos by Mila Samokhina).
Tags: 676 Restaurant, Alison Rosati, Andy Antoniou, Andy's Frozen Custard, Arthur Samokhina, Bill Haggerty, Blues Traveler, Cadillac, Candid Candace, Candid Candace Chicago, Chevy Volt, Chicago Auto Show, Chicagoland Cadillac Dealers, Cindy Patrasso, Dan Marks, Dan Roesch, David Burke's Primehouse, David Sloan, Dennis Bauer, Devon Seafood, Don Butler, Ed Burke, Elena Samokhina, Erik Higgins, First Look for Charity, Fogo de Chao, Ford Shelby GT 500, Jeep Wrangler, Joe Ahern, Larry Wert, Marlaine Selip, Mary Dolan, Men's Warehouse, Michael Ettleson, Mike McGrath Jr., Mila Samokhina, Monty Scher, Paul Brian, Ray Scarpelli Jr., Real Urban BBQ, Roe Conn, Roy's Restaurant, Steve Foley Jr., Tony Guido, Tyronne Stoudemire, Valerie Warner, Watch312