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Checking Out the Air and Water Show? Here’s What You Need to Know

For all it’s faults, the city of Chicago is still a world-class city with a lot to offer. One of the best summertime traditions is the Air and Water show that takes place this weekend!

Here are some of the important things you should know if you are traveling up to the city to check it out!

Date & Hours

  • August 17–18, 2019
  • 10am–3pm both days
  • National Anthem at 10am

Location

Lakefront
North Avenue Beach
Chicago, IL 60614

Admission

FREE

Best Sightlines

  • Show Center – North Avenue Beach
  • The Lakefront from Oak Street Beach to Fullerton
  • Ohio Street Beach

Tune into WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm for a live broadcast of the show.

Parking

Avoid the crowds if you are driving, park at Millennium Park Garage. Air & Water parking is available at Millennium Garages with free shuttle to and from North Ave. Beach, visit www.millenniumgarages.com

Schedule of Performers

The schedule is decided the morning of the show by the pilots. A list of performers is at the bottom of the page, but they are subject to change.

Prohibited Items

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
  • Drones (Personal and Commercial)
  • Fireworks or Explosives
  • Illegal Substances & Weapons
  • Pop-up Tents/Canopies (blankets and chairs are allowed)
  • Balloons
  • Kites
  • Flag Poles
  • All Pets (except Service Animals)

Tidbits You May Not Know About The Air And Water Show

The majority of planes flying in the show take off and land at the Gary Jet Center in Gary, Indiana.

Some of the military planes fly in from bases around the mid-west. They time their flight to fly over the show at an exact moment.

14 federal, state and city agencies work together to put the show on safely each year.

All pilots perform stunts over the water in a set safety area. When a plane does fly over buildings, it is merely doing so in its flight path to return to the show area or the airport.

On average, 2 million people view the show annually.

At 61, the Chicago Air and Water Show is longest running free show of its kind in the United States.

In 1959, the show cost $88 dollars to put on. Today, with the help of generous corporate sponsors like Shell, Boeing, American Airlines, WBBM Newsradio, ABC 7, The Chicago Tribune, Oracle among others help to make the show possible and FREE to the public.

When the show was held at Lakeshore Park between Ohio and Oak Street beach, Lake Shore Drive was sometimes closed.

Also at Lakeshore Park, the Golden Knights didn’t have a beach to land on so they landed in the Water. Chicago Park District Lifeguards fished them out of the water.

Herb Hunter (“The Voice” of the Air and Water Show) used to fly in the show before becoming the show announcer over 20 years ago. For many years he flew the USAF KC-135.

List of Performers

The Blue Angels and Golden Knights will make their traditional appearances, but there are other special guests. military and civilian and demos you should know! Here’s the list of performers.

 

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