‘Kick a few tires’ – QC Auto Show rolls in this weekend

A man looks over a Corvette during last year’s Quad City Regional Auto Show at the Bend XPO in East Moline. The show returns there this year from March 1-3. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The upcoming 30th annual Quad City Regional Auto Show will feature some impressive numbers this year.

Some of those numbers will include: More than 150 vehicles on display representing 23 manufacturers; 13 local students receiving $54,000 in scholarships; and thousands of people looking over the vehicles and other show features.

People look over a car during a previous Quad City Regional Auto Show. CREDIT QUAD CITY REGIONAL AUTO SHOW

The show will be Friday through Sunday, March 1-3, at the Bend XPO, 922 Mississippi Parkway, East Moline. The show will have added features and more cars and trucks for visitors to look over this year.

“This is our 30th anniversary and we have added many features to make this show special and we have something for everyone. We’ve extended family entertainment over all three days,” said Susan Shrader, the show’s event coordinator.

That family entertainment will include face painting, a bounce house, therapy dogs, a magic show, cookies and milk, concert ticket give-away events and much more. (See updates to the show’s lineup at its Facebook page here.)

“Come kick a few tires, sit in the vehicles, imagine you are driving each one. You can do all this with the entire family. … Expect the very best showing this year of what 2024 offers for technology, cars, trucks, SUVs and electric vehicles,” KV Dahl, president of the show’s board of directors, said in a statement.

Show hours and admissions fees are:

  • Friday, March 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The admission fee on all days is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (62 and older), $5 for children (ages 7 to 12); and free admission for younger children. This is a cashless show. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted for admission fees.
  • Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All proceeds from the auto show go directly into an endowment which is administered by the Quad Cities Community Foundation. The Auto Show has given more than $686,000 in scholarships to more than 205 area students. Last year, the show raised $51,000 for 14 students. Read more about the scholarship program here

This year, 13 students are being awarded $54,000 in scholarships. Those scholarships will be presented during a private preview party Thursday, Feb. 29, at the Bend XPO. Those students selected to receive the scholarships include:

College or university scholarships: Keira Davison, Bettendorf High School; Korrine Davison, Bettendorf High School; Gabriella Deery, Burlington Notre Dame; Hannah Deriemacker, Davenport North High School; Clark Heeren, Kewanee High School; Colton Kelley, Davenport North High School; Aleese Park, Cambridge High School; Isabelle Sneath, Davenport North High School; Jacob Stevens, Pleasant Valley High School; Allison Stick-Mueller,  North Scott High School; Brooklyn Strief, North Scott High School.

Automotive/Technical/Trade School scholarships: Bradley Griffin, Moline High School; and Blake Hallendorff, Geneseo High School.

In addition to the vehicles on display, there is an Educational Expo on Friday, March 1, at the show. A collaboration with dealers, manufacturers and local school districts, the expo is designed to bring awareness to the career opportunities available in the automotive industry and to help spark interest in younger students. Area eighth graders will be bussed to the show where their time is divided between looking over the show and participating in the expo. There will be several stations for students to have hands-on experiences such as exploring virtual and full-scale interactive engine models, trying collision repair techniques, conducting an analysis of quality tires and treads to determine a recommendation, and other workstations.

Here are some of the other activities show visitors will find over the three-day show:

  • Ride and Drive with vehicles from Subaru and Ford.
  • Midwest Corvettes Club will display up to 20 Corvettes.
  • Quad City British Auto Club will show vehicles.
  • Bounce house, therapy dogs, Toyota NASCAR simulator and Subaru adopt a pet available all weekend.
  • Military tribute display. 
  • Magic show, balloons and face painting, all from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Appearance on Sunday by Miss Illinois Jessica Tilton.
  • Sunday is KISS FM 101.2 Family Day.

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