Couples celebrate Valentine's Day traditions at 2017 Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Love is in the air at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Some couples are celebrating Valentine's Day at McCormick Place.


Their marriage is smooth sailing, but they're enjoying the roller coaster ride that is actually part of the Mercedes-Benz test track. Matthew Longtin has been coming to the Chicago Auto Show for 22 years, since he was five. And since they met, wife Mandy has been coming every year as well. Not only is it Valentine's Day, but it's also Matthew's birthday. And there's no place they'd rather be than the Auto Show.

"It's just a great place with your family and all your loved ones," Matthew Longtin said.

"I come for him and I come for the fun rides," Mandy Longtin said.

Valentine's Day usually falls during the Auto Show. And while it might not seem like the most romantic place to take your valentine, lots of couples who come might argue otherwise.

"It's surprising how many couples do come and usually it's the wife treating her husband, but sometimes it's the other way around," Chicago Auto Show General Manager Dave Sloan said.

Lauren Buckley has one of the best Valentine's Day traditions at the Auto Show. In honor of her late husband Dennis - who helped start the blood donation center at the show - she comes every year wearing the same sweater to donate a pint herself.

"As a tribute to him and to give him a little kick in heaven. I figure he'll notice this again," Buckley said.

When it began, skeptics doubted people would donate blood at a car show. But the drive here has grown to be the largest of the year for the Heartland Blood Centers.

"We have donors that come year after year and they do it as a celebration of somebody else's life, or they do it for somebody in treatment," said Amy Smith, Heartland Blood Centers.

Sloan joins Buckley in donating blood each year. If you've got a little extra time at the Auto show, stop by and donate a pint!

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