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Chicago Air And Water Show Returns In August With Blue Angels, Golden Knights And Other Performers

This will be the first full-scale Chicago Air and Water Show since 2019. It will include a dedication to Rudy Malnati Jr., a member of the famed pizza family who helped coordinate the shows in years past.

File Photo: A Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor flies over Lake Michigan during the 2019 Chicago Air and Water Show.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The Chicago Air and Water Show is returning next month after being canceled in 2020 and scaled back last year.

This year’s show, happening 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 20-21, will feature the Navy Blue Angels, who put on a solo demonstration last year, and the return of the Golden Knights Army Parachute Team.

People can view the show along the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street, with North Avenue beach serving as the show’s center.

“After the absence of the show in 2020 and a scaled-down version in 2021, this summer we are honored to be able to bring back in full force Chicago’s storied tradition, the Air and Water Show,” Erin Harkey, commissioner for the city’s events department, said in a news release.

The Air and Water Show features a variety of military and civilian performances, according to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This year’s military performances include demonstrations from USN F-35C Lightening II, USAF F-22 Raptor, USAF C-17 Globemaster III, ANG A-10 Thunderbolt II (“Warthog”), ANG KC-135 Stratotanker, USMC V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor and the USCG Search and Rescue Helicopter team.

The Air Force Heritage Flight and Navy Legacy Flights will also perform for the first time at the same Air and Water Show, according to the events department. The Navy will also provide an additional F-35C Legacy II to its Legacy Flight for a dedication to Rudy Malnati Jr., who died in December and was made an honorary member of the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds for his work coordinating the air show, according to the Sun-Times.

Civilian performers include Susan Dacy, Bill Stein, Kevin Coleman, Rob Holland, Triple Time Team, the Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue team and the Police Department helicopter.

Herb Hunter, known as the “Voice of the Air and Water Show,” will return as the announcer, according to DCASE.

“Celebrating more than 60 years, the free event showcases incredible feats from world-class military and civilian teams over an exhilarating two days,” Harkey said.

More information can be found on the city’s website.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Herb Hunter, the voice of the Chicago Air and Water Show, walks as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels practice maneuvers over Chicago on Aug. 20, 2021 ahead of their weekend performances.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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