LAKEFRONT — The Chicago Air & Water Show is preparing for liftoff once again this weekend.
From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, spectators can watch the renowned aerial demonstrations that have become a staple of the city’s summer. The performances can be viewed from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street along the Lakefront, with North Avenue Beach serving as the show center. Rehearsals will take place on Friday.
This year’s headliners include the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds are celebrating their 70th year and first return to Chicago since 2018 with solo flying and aerobatic formations in their F-16C Fighting Falcons.
The U.S. Army Parachute Team will perfect their landings from 12,000 feet in the sky to target landings on North Avenue Beach.
“The Chicago Air and Water show is a summer highlight for the more than one million spectators who view the show every year,” said Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Erin Harkey. “Audiences can expect to see incredible performances from world-class military and civilian teams gracing the Chicago sky over an exciting two days.”
Herb Hunter, show announcer known as the “Voice of the Air and Water Show” for more than 35 years, will be announcing and guiding spectators through the complex aerial choreography. WBBM Newsradio 780/105.9 will be broadcasting the show live over the weekend.
Scheduled military performances for the 2023 event include: U.S. Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Demo Team (P-51 Mustang), U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III Demo Team, U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II (x4), U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard KC-135E Stratotanker, U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet “Rhino” Demo Team, U.S. Navy Legacy Flight Demo Team (A-4B Skyhawk & FG-1D Corsair), U.S. Coast Guard MH-65D Dolphin Search and Rescue Demo.
Featured civilian performers for the 2023 lineup will include the Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue and the Chicago Police Department helicopter.
Due to expected crowds, the CTA is suggested for transportation to the lakefront. The Department of Cultural Affairs says that dropoff and pickup traffic along North Avenue Beach will be dependent on crowd density and Emergency Management’s discretion. Although there is no public parking along the lakefront during the weekend, Millennium Park Garages have discounted parking if you book ahead of time and a shuttle from the garage to inner DuSable Lake Shore Drive. The CTA 72 bus that stops at North Avenue Beach will be re-routed.
Additional information on event lineup and accessibility can be found at chicagoairandwatershow.us.
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