Sorry, car fans: No DC Auto Show this year

Washington Auto Show
A view of the 2020 Washington, D.C. Auto Show. (WTOP/John Aaron)

There will not be a Washington, D.C. Auto Show this year, organizers of the annual event said Wednesday, citing uncertainty about hosting large events amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The yearly car show — which normally draws thousands of enthusiasts to the D.C. convention center in January — had been twice delayed because of the pandemic.

Organizers “tried everything possible to produce a show in 2021,” Washington, D.C. Auto Show President and CEO John O’Donnell said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, there is simply too much ongoing uncertainty about when the District will be able to safely host large indoor events again. We truly wish that cancellation wasn’t necessary, but we know that this decision is in the best interests of all those who make the Washington, D.C. Auto Show the great event that it is.”

Organizers are planning to work with a D.C. broadcaster to air an auto show TV special this May, but details are still pending.

In addition, organizers are also planning to return to the D.C. convention center in Jan. 2022 with a full slate of programming.

“While the overall health situation has not improved as much as was needed to host a show in the spring of 2021, we remain confident that the city and the country are on a path that will allow us to put on an invigorating, exciting auto show in Jan. 2022,” O’Donnell said.

“We can’t wait bring the latest and greatest developments in the auto industry to downtown D.C. next January. In the meantime, we hope everyone takes great care to stay safe and healthy as we get through this crisis.”

The annual event had originally been slated for Jan. 29, before organizers pushed it to late March.


Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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