53rd Annual Chicago Air & Water Show Takes Flight This Weekend

Wed, 08-17-2011
By: Jeff Dutton

                This weekend the Mayor’s Office of Special Events will host the 53rd Annual Chicago Air & Water Show at North Avenue Beach.  The show will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 20th & 21st, from 10am to 3pm.  Admission to the show is free, and taking public transportation would be wise considering the show draws approximately 2.2 million people each year to the lakefront.

                The show began in 1959 with an $88 budget, and was titled the Lakeshore Park Air & Water Show.  Featuring a Coast Guard Air Sea Rescue demonstration, water skiers, a water ballet, games, and a diving competition, the show was part of a “Family Day” for children enrolled in the Chicago Park District’s day camp program.  The following year the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and Golden Knight Parachute Team performed to a huge crowd, cementing the shows place as a Chicago summer tradition.

                This year’s show’s headliners are the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs. (Other Performers)  While the show will be the same both days, there is no specific schedule of who will be performing at what time, the schedule is decided by the pilots the day of the event.  The only thing one can expect is that the headliners will be performing last.

                Play-by-play coverage of the event will air on WBBM News radio 780AM and 105.9FM.  The event will also be streamed live on WBBM Newsradio’s website.  More information on the show, such as rules and regulations for spectators, can be found on the city’s official tourism website.  Be sure to check back with Chicago.org on Saturday night to read show reviews, highlights, and see photos of the day’s performances.