Another Sign Of Recovery: Jax International Auto Show Returns This Weekend
The Jacksonville International Auto Show is returning to the Prime Osborn Convention Center this weekend after a pandemic-induced one-year hiatus.
According to the show's organizers, the automotive industry has been bouncing back and new-car sales are recovering.
“It's kind of a symbolic moment, I think, you know, for the show, and for Jacksonville, that, you know, life is kind of slowly returning back to normal,” said show producer Lowell Briggs on Wednesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.
However, COVID-19 protocols will still be in effect at the Prime Osborn. Organizers are requesting guests still wear masks and “proper” spacing is being used throughout the venue to maintain social distancing.
More than 20 automotive brands will be display, including several of the most anticipated models, such as the new Ford Bronco.
Electric vehicles will also be playing a big role this year with the Ford Mustang Mach-E taking center stage along with other EVs that include the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron.
“Attendees will have a chance to drive an electric vehicle for perhaps for the first time. They [GM] have a Chevy Bolt there as part of the Ride-and-Drive,” Briggs said, referring to the free demo rides that manufacturers offer during the show.
Other Chevrolet models that will be available for test drives will include the Camaro, Silverado and Traverse.
Exotic marques like Lamborghini, Lotus, Bentley and Maserati will also be on display.
While new models will constitute the largest part of the show, classic car fans will also have a good bit to look forward to.
Some of the most desirable performance cars from the past will be on display at the Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine Pavilion. The display will include a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, a rare split-window 1963 Corvette and a Jaguar XK120.
The Jacksonville Corvette Club and Jacksonville Mustang Club will also be showing off their classics at the show Saturday.
For fans of military history, the Military Trail and Military Vehicle Preservation display will salute restored historic military transport vehicles, including a 1945 GPW and Willys Jeep, as well as a Half Track and others.
Tickets are available at JAXAutoShow.com. No on-site cash purchases will be accepted.
Admission is $13 for adults; $9 for seniors (65+); $5 for military (with ID, must be purchased via credit cards onsite at Box Office); $6 for children (6-12); free for children under 6. Discount coupons for $2 off the adult admission are available at area Gate gas stations.
Friday, May 7, is Active Military & Active First Responders Day. First responders, EMTs, nurses, doctors, health care workers and active-duty military receive admission on Friday with valid a ID.
Show hours are Friday from noon-9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The full interview with Briggs can be heard on Wednesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, which also encores at 8 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9.