Friday, January 30, 2009

More than 700 new cars, trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles will be on display Feb. 4 through 8 at the 67th Washington Auto Show. Held at the Washington Convention Center and produced by the Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association (WANADA), the show will feature vehicles from more than 42 domestic and import automakers.

“Holding our show two weeks after the presidential inauguration will make for a historic event this year,” says Tamara C. Darvish, WANADA chairwoman and vice president of Darcars Toyota. “This is the auto industry’s first opportunity to present their technological advancements to the new administration and other policymakers. The new designs and innovations on display, in turn, will create a more exciting show for auto enthusiasts.”

One offering will be the Green Car Pavilion, hosted by the Green Car Journal. A slate of fuel-efficient cars will be on display, including vehicles running on battery electric power, E85 ethanol, compressed natural gas and other alternative fuels.

Besides the automakers’ exhibits, a slate of celebrities will be on hand to lend some additional sparkle to the festivities. Highlights this year include visits from Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green, Washington Redskins Antwaan Randle El and Jason Campbell and former Redskins star Darrell Green, and Washington Wizards Dominic McGuire, JaVale McGee and Nick Young. The Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, the Speed Channel’s Vida Guerra, and actors Corbin Bleu and Idris Elba also are scheduled to appear.

Several lucky show attendees won’t have to be content with just looking at the exhibits; they’ll have a chance to win a new car. Twelve Washington-area residents will put on their dancing shoes to compete for a new Toyota in the Dancing for Toyotas contest now in its second year. A second car will be given to a show-goer who predicts the winners of the contest, which is sponsored by the Washington-area Toyota dealers, Arthur Murray Dance Studios, WANADA and MIX 107.3 FM.

Washington-area Mercedes-Benz dealers also will be getting in on the giveaways. After the show closes, the dealers will choose the winner of an all-new GLK350 luxury sport utility vehicle from among the entries gathered during the Washington Auto Show.

Young car enthusiasts will have plenty to do at this year’s auto show. While Mom and Dad check out the new models, junior can visit the Vehix Playland, which will be filled with games, a movie theater, activities and favorite characters.

“When planning the show, we always look for activities that will appeal to our youngest guests. This year is no exception,” says Washington Auto Show Chairman John Ourisman.

Rock-it, a 9-foot-tall robot that walks, talks and rocks, will be joined by Spider-Man, Iron Man, Dora the Explorer, Diego and other furry and feathered friends.

Show hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 6 and 7 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 8.

Weekday tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and military personnel, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those younger than 6. Weekend tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military personnel, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for those younger than 6. Electronic tickets and discount coupons are available at

For a full schedule of events or other information, click on or call WANADA at 1/866-WASH-AUTO.

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