The 2018 Dayton Auto Show will offer the chance to win a grand prize of a two-year lease on a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT, courtesy of the Miami Valley Chevrolet Dealers. The lease has an approximate value of $9,500, Dayton Auto Show organizers say. Entries are being accepted at all Miami Valley Chevrolet dealerships and at the show. Metro News Service photo

2018 Dayton Auto Show cause for celebration

Automotive showcase kicks off Feb. 22

Members of the Dayton Area Auto Dealers Association have reason to celebrate as their wares – brawny new trucks, high-tech models, popular sport-utility vehicles/crossovers and fuel-sipping hybrids or electric cars – congregate Feb. 22-25 at the Dayton Auto Show in an unveiling of what has arrived or will arrive in showrooms in the months ahead. The Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., will be filled with 200-plus vehicles, including Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Folks, get in on the celebration yourselves – you’ll see not only great vehicles but may win something worth upwards of $9,500, plus possibly T-shirts, trinkets and gift cards for gas and merchandise from various contests.

The Miami Valley Chevrolet Dealers are generously offering a two-year lease, valued at about $9,500, on a 2018 Chevy Equinox LT SUV to some lucky attendee. To enter, visit a Chevy dealership between now and the show, or enter up until 1 p.m. on the last day of the show. A final drawing will take place at 3 p.m. Feb. 25, and you must be present to win.

Other show highlights will be:

Makes and models from 27 manufacturers. Vehicles sure to draw attention at the show, if they arrive, will be the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt prototype, Jeep Wrangler, RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition and the North American Car of the Year Honda Accord, made in Marysville.

Military Appreciation Days, Feb. 22-23. Anyone with a military ID will gain free entry, sponsored by the Dayton Area Toyota Dealers. This is the first time that organization has sponsored two full days “as a great thank-you to servicemen and servicewomen,” said Dayton Auto Show Manager Kelly Danison. Toyota also will display a Tundra pickup decorated in a patriotic theme in the lobby.

The Toyota Drive Center will feature vehicles for test-driving around downtown Dayton. Located at the main entrance on Fifth Street, the following may be available to drive, subject to change: the first-ever C-HR, the all-new Camry, RAV4 and Highlander.

FCA Drive Experience, featuring the Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Charger, Jeep Compass, Ram 1500 Crew and Fiat 500x

Special entertainment attractions for kids, including animals from Wild Hearts African Farm and Petting Zoo, Matt the Balloon Guy and Face Doodles by Jen

Dayton Dragons booth Feb. 24-25. Attendees can stop by for a chance to win a VIP Dayton Dragons prize pack that will include four stadium seats, pre-game tour, four Dragons hats and T-shirts. Heater and Gem will make several appearances Feb. 24-25 (time TBD).

Identifying makes and models of vehicles featured in various photos during a photo scavenger hunt will give attendees the chance to win a 55-inch Samsung UHD TV. A “selfie” social media contest throughout the show also will reward participants with gas cards.

The show also is an opportunity to become more educated, as a “Drive Electric Ohio” exhibit will be presented by Clean Fuels Ohio, a statewide non-profit organization that improves air quality and health, reduces environmental pollution and strengthens Ohio’s economy by helping businesses, governments, nonprofits and individuals transition to cleaner, domestic fuels and energy-saving vehicles.

The program promotes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicle adoption throughout Ohio. A Honda Clarity, courtesy of Voss Honda, will be part of its display at the show. A local Drive Electric Ohio group of people interested in promoting EVs will staff the booth.

“There will be EV owners to answer questions,” said Ellen Eilers, outreach and events manager for Clean Fuels Ohio. “We want to make to clear that EVs save drivers money because there is less maintenance, and they help reduce oil dependence and strengthen national security; they are fun to drive; and obviously they are more environmentally friendly.”

Other electric vehicles may be found in the manufacturers’ displays.

“The 2018 Dayton Auto Show is really the best place to see and test all the new vehicles; we are fresh off the Detroit and Toledo auto shows,” Danison said. “It’s a great opportunity to see how individual needs and preferences mesh with the vehicle. Plus it’s a no-pressure environment because no vehicles can be sold at the show.”

Show sponsors are the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Miami Valley Chevy Dealers and Dayton Area Toyota Dealers.

For more information, look for a special 2018 Dayton Auto Show tabloid inserted in the Feb. 18 Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun.