Safety first. The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show has canceled its annual preview gala which was set to kick off its 21st year tonight. The show itself, though, will open Thursday morning and run through Sunday on the Goodman Campus of Lehigh University, Bethlehem.
Concerns over driving conditions and safety because of the late season nor’easter that has hit the region led organizers to cancel tonight’s gala, said Tom Kwiatek, executive director of the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association.
Those who had tickets can receive refunds or hold onto their tickets for next year’s gala.
The beneficiaries of this year’s auto show are Northampton Community College and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network.
Kwiatek said the auto association, which organizes the gala and car show, still will make its planned donations to the organizations.
As of this morning, Kwiatek said, the auto show itself is planned to run as scheduled.
“The cars are here,” he said.
He said there have been delays in setup because of the storm and contractors not being able to make it to the Goodman Campus, but progress is being made.
The show should open 10 a.m. Thursday as planned, but Kwiatek cautioned there may be last-minute delays as Lehigh University plows nearby lots and access roads.
“We want to make sure everybody has a place to park,” he said.
This late-season foul weather is rarely an issue for the car show, Kwiatek said, but it’s not the first time snow has affected the event.
He said a couple of years ago a bad storm and a malfunctioning generator led organizers to shut down the car show early Friday, but the show was back up and running the next day.
The show will be open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
(UPDATE: The Lehigh Valley Auto Show will open at 3 p.m. Thursday to allow for lot clearing)