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Chicago Air And Water Show

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LIVE: 2022 Chicago Air and Water Show

The city’s waterfront location and nightlife has attracted residents and tourists alike. Over a third of the city population is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods from Rogers Park in the north to South Shore in the south. The city has many upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These districts include the Mexican American neighborhoods, such as Pilsen along 18th street, and La Villita along 26th Street the Puerto Rican enclave of Paseo Boricua in the Humboldt Park neighborhood Greektown, along South Halsted Street, immediately west of downtown Little Italy, along Taylor Street Chinatown in Armour Square Polish Patches in West Town Little Seoul in Albany Park around Lawrence Avenue Little Vietnam near Broadway in Uptown and the Desi area, along Devon Avenue in West Ridge.

Lincoln Park contains the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The River North Gallery District features the nation’s largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of New York City.

Lakeview is home to Boystown, the city’s large LGBT nightlife and culture center. The Chicago Pride Parade, held the last Sunday in June, is one of the world’s largest with over a million people in attendance.North Halsted Street is the main thoroughfare of Boystown.

Air & Water Show Parking

Heading to the Air & Water Show on August 20 & 21, 2022, we recommend parking at our Millennium Park Garage at 5 South Columbus Drive to take advantage of our free shuttle service to North Avenue Beach.

*Shuttle Service for Millennium Garages Customers Only

If you would like to walk, watch from the Lakefront or take a ride share, Millennium Park Garage or Millennium Lakeside Garage pedestrian lobbies are conveniently located on East Randolph and East Monroe near Lake Shore Drive.

Chicago Air And Water Show 2023

Where: Along the lakefront between Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, United StatesWhen:

Every year, on the second half of August, an air and water show is held in Chicago. This is an impressive event with the participation of the best civil and military pilots who fly civil planes side by side with military planes in aerobatic shows, free fall demonstrations, marine and airy rescue exercises, etc

Due to the numerous visitors during the festival days and the high demand for accommodations it is recommended to check hotel rates and book rooms well in advance.

The two days event shows can be watched, for free, along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street when the main activity takes place in North Avenue Beach.


For your attention !

IMPORTANT !Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and for various unexpected reasons, the details of the event are subject to change. We strongly recommended that you check with the organizers before making any travel arrangements.

Event Related Information

City Information

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What Does The Forecast Look Like

The city of Chicago has had measurable precipitation exactly once so far in the month of August, but it appears that may change during the Air and Water Show weekend.

Saturday could see several rounds of thunderstorms, with scattered storms in the morning and more widespread precipitation in the afternoon and evening, according to forecast models.

Sunday could see showers in the morning, and although models are still being dialed in, there is at least a chance that the rain could exit the area by the early afternoon hours.

What Tips Do City Officials Have For Attendees

The Chicago Air and Water Show is much better from my cousin

Pick up and drop off for the event will take place at the North Avenue Beach entrance on the northbound side of DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

OEMC officials say that traffic could cause that pick-up lane to be shut down if the beach reaches capacity.

Millennium Park garages will offer discounted pre-purchased parking and a shuttle service from their garage to the beach, according to officials.

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Air & Water Show Performers

Royal Air Force Red Arrows: The Royal Air Force Red Arrows will joining the show this year for the first time. For over a hundred years the Royal Air Force has defended the skies of Britain and projected Britains power and influence around the world. Today the RAF is engaged in 15 missions on 4 continents in 22 countries.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels: The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been astounding audiences since 1946 with their commanding presence and aerial maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornet. The team has thrilled more than 427 million fans choreographed aerobatic and high altitude performance maneuvers.

U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights: Jumping out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earths surface, racing to North Avenue Beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph and landing with smiles, ready to do it all again all in a days work for the Golden Knights. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Army Parachute team has amazed and thrilled audiences with their precision parachute demonstrations in more than 14,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries.

U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs: A typical Leap Frogs performance consists of fourteen jumpers leaping out of an aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 feet. The jumpers typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet, then fly their canopies together to build dramatic canopy-relative work formations.

Chicago On The Cheap Tips:

  • If youre just interested in the Air part of the show skip the crowds at the beach. Most of the planes flying in the show take off and land at the Gary International Airport in Gary, Indiana.
  • This flight path requires them to fly in from the south. They wont be performing their routines but they will be flying in formation as they pass over downtown, buzzing buildings and flying low over the lake before they head north to North Avenue.
  • Find a friend who lives in a high rise along the lakefront or who has an office along the lakefront.

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Which Acts Will Be Performing

The United States Navys Blue Angels will soar above the crowd at this years event, performing their remarkable acrobatic routines for hundreds of thousands of spectators.

They will share headlining duties with the U.S. Armys Golden Knights parachute team, according to city officials.

Numerous ships and planes from other branches of the military will also take to the skies and the waters of Lake Michigan during the performance, and a full list can be found on the Air and Water Shows website.

How Does Spothero Work

Chicago Air and Water Show Blue Angels Surprise!

SpotHero is a parking reservation service. We partner with different facilities nationwide to provide you with tons of parking options and premium rates.

While SpotHero does not own or operate any of these locations, we do work very closely with the operators we partner with to ensure you have a seamless parking experience every time you park!

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Where To Watch The Chicago Air And Water Show

On the beachThe prime viewing location for the Chicago Air and Water Show is near the water. If you want to be in the center of the action, bring chairs or a blanket and stake out a spot on the sand or grass anywhere on North Avenue Beach from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street. You can also see the show from iconic lakefront attraction Navy Pier and the Miller Lite Beer Garden.

Reserve a cabana space at Caffe Oliva for breezy, unobstructed views from Ohio Street Beach. A little further north, grab a seat at Theater on the Lakes waterfront patio.

For the VIP treatment, head to Shore Club. Enjoy the show from the beachfront bars sand-covered patio, dotted with private cabanas. Or grab a seat at Castaways, a beach bar and grill with cool drinks, live music, and excellent views of the water and skyline.

Cruise the watersIf youd rather get on the water yourself, hop aboard one of Chicagos many lakefront boat cruises. There are a variety of tour boat companies that offer special cruises with incredible views of the Air and Water Show enjoy a lunch buffet aboard the Spirit of Chicago, experience a piece of local history with Chicago Fireboat Tours, or explore cruise options with Wendella Boats, Shoreline Sightseeing Company, Seadog Cruises, Chicagos First Lady and Chicago Line Cruises.

If you prefer an open-air environment, carve out a spot on a rooftop bar, like at The J. Parker atop Hotel Lincoln, Devereaux at The Viceroy, or Offshore Rooftop at Navy Pier .

What If I Encounter A Safety Issue While At The Lakefront

Be safe this weekend on and off the water. If you need to call 9-1-1 from the lake front – look up and utilize the green and white pole markers to let first responders know your location. #ChicagoAirandWater@CFDMedia@CPDMarineUnit@Chicago_Police#SeeSay

Chicago OEMC

Vertical green signs with white letters and numbers called pole markers are attached to all light poles along the lakefront.

Lost? Injured? Witness criminal activity? Look up, call 911 and give the letter/number on the pole nearest your location to help first responders locate you. Or, use the pole marker to let friends and family know where you are.

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The Wbez Guide To Chicagos Air And Water Show

Its back!

Love it or hate it, the full-scale Chicago Air and Water Show is back this weekend for the first time since 2019.

Two million people are expected to gather by the lakefront for the free event. And, even though the weekends forecast is calling for rain, organizers say the show will go on.

We have every intention of the full show taking place, said Jennifer Johnson Washington, a deputy commissioner at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Should we have severe weather, the show could pause while we wait for a front to move through if were just talking about cloud cover, they can adjust the show in terms of altitude.

Who Needs Dot Hazmat Training

Fairs &  fests: Chicago Air &  Water Show, Comic Con Chicago and more

According to the DOT any company involved in the transport of hazardous materials by air, rail, ground or water must provide Hazmat transportation certification within 90 days of an employee starting work. Our DOT Hazmat Complete training is a one-day seminar designed to certify your employees in transporting hazardous materials. DOT regulations state: Any person involved in offering a hazardous material for transportation must be properly trained

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Getting To The Air And Water Show

Pick-up and drop-off is at the North Avenue northbound entrance to Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

The CTA 72 bus that usually stops at North Avenue Beach will be rerouted.

Millennium Park Garages has discounted pre-purchase parking and a shuttle from the garage to inner Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

There is no public parking at the beach over Air and Water weekend.

Visit for more information on the show.

Whats The Weather Forecast

A mostly dry and seasonable Friday before rain chances increase tonight. The best chances for storms will be Saturday PM where a few storms could become strong to severe with a threat of gusty winds. Rain chances ease Sunday PM with dry weather to start next week. #ilwx#INwx

Expect highs in the 70s to mid-80s this weekend with a chance of scattered thunderstorms.

In case of severe weather: Temporary shelter from rain, high winds, lightning or hail is available at various nearby underpass and pedway locations .

Water skiers wow the crowd at the second annual Water Show sponsored by Lake Shore Park, Chicago Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, on Lake Michigan on Aug. 7, 1960.

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While the show looks like it will get off to a dry start around 10 a.m. Saturday, shower and thunderstorm chances increase in the afternoon.

Scattered rain and showers are also possible on Sunday afternoon. Before you head to the lakefront, check the latest ABC7 AccuWeather forecast here.

Air And Water Show Planes To Fill The Sky This Weekend

Chicago Air and Water Show 2012 – Getting Dive Bombed by the Blue Angels

Start looking up if in Chicago or its suburbs near Lake Michigan, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, The zooms you hear are likely from the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Blue Angels.

The Chicago Air and Water Show, the countrys largest, free exhibition of precision flying, is at the citys North Avenue Beach, 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Aug. 20-21. But several performers practice on Aug. 19, which means Friday is also a good day to visit the beach area from Oak Street north.

Begun as the Lakeshore Park and Water Show in 1959 featuring a Coast Guard Air Sea Rescue demo and water events, it soon added the U.S. Armys Golden Knights Parachute Team and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds that have since appeared alternate years with the U. S. Navys Blue Angels a 2022 show headliner.

Stationed at Forrest Sherman Field Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL. during its show season, the Blue Angels team was started by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Chester Nimitz in 1946 to raise awareness and interest in naval aviation.

The squadron spends January through March training at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, CA. For more Blue Angels history visit U.S. Navy Blue Angels History.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights, the shows other featured group, first got together in 1959 when 19 Airborne Soldiers from different units formed the Strategic Army Command Parachute Team under Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell Jr. to participate in skydiving competitions.

Where to watch

From the ground

From a skyscraper

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What If The Event I’m Attending Runs Late

We set up special rates for events with our partner operators, and the preset times should give you enough time on either end. If the event does last longer than expected, theres no need to worry about leaving early. The attendants will know and will let you out without a problem as soon as the event is over.

Hey History Buffs: Did You Know

The citys Air and Water Show is a summertime staple and the longest running show of its kind. But when it first got off the ground in 1959 it was a much humbler affair beginning with a budget of just $88.

The first year the show was held there were rowing contests, a watermelon-eating contest, and there was a greased pole kids could climb, Gerry Souter, who wrote The Chicago Air and Water Show: A History of Wings Above the Waves,told Curious City in 2018. He added that everyone had a pretty good time.

WBEZs Mark LeBien contributed to this report.

Courtney Kueppers is a digital producer/reporter at WBEZ. Follow her@cmkueppers.

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Whos Performing Each Day

The schedule is subject to change and determined on show days. The lineup includes:

  • U.S. Navy Blue Angels: More than 100 crew members including enlisted members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines pilot and maintain eight F/A-18 Hornets, of which six will perform, and C-130 Fat Albert. The teams signature aerial maneuvers include diamond and delta formations.
  • U.S. Army Golden Knights: Appearing here since the 1960s when they would land in Lake Michigan this team of soldiers has jumped with former Cubs catcher and current manager David Ross, actor Vince Vaughn and comedian Bill Murray.
  • Other military performers: U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight with P-51 Mustang U.S. Air Force Red Horse Mobile Aircraft Arresting Gear Team U.S. Coast Guard Air and Sea Rescue Demo U.S. Marines MV-22 Osprey U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II Demo Team U.S. Navy Legacy Flight with FG-1D Corsair and A-4B Skyhawk Illinois Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker Illinois National Guard 183rd Security Forces and Maryland Air National Guard A-10C Thunderbolt II.
  • Civilians: Chicago Fire Department Air and Sea Rescue Unit Chicago Police Department helicopter Kevin Coleman Susan Dacy Rob Holland Bill Stein and Triple Time Team.

The 62nd Annual Chicago Air & Water Show

Join Aegir Expeditions for a unique experience and get front row seats ...

Presented by the City of Chicago, the Air and Water Show celebrates 62 years of daredevil thrills in the air and on the water at North Avenue Beach and along Chicagos magnificent lakefront on Lake Michigan. With Chicago’s Skyline as a backdrop, audience numbers reach 2 million annually making the Chicago Air & Water Show the largest FREE admission air and water exhibition of its kind in the United States. Over the years the show has featured some of the top civilian and military pilots and aircraft. Biennially, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headline along with the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs.

The Chicago Air & Water Show is conducted in an extremely safe and conscientious way. Safety precautions are taken at all times before, during and after the show. Planes take off and land at the Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, Indiana. 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.

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