Chicago Air & Water Show Aug 19-20. The Chicago Air and Water Show is one of the world’s best air shows and its FREE to attend.
When: Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20, 2017; 10am – 3pm both days. Practice starts at 12PM on Friday downtown.
Where: The Lakefront, Fullerton Beach to Oak Street Beach with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. Guide to Chicago Beaches
This year’s headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flying F/A-18 Hornets known for its six-jet Delta Formation.
Catch the rehearsal
- Most the flight teams will practice their entire show on Friday, August 18 generally between 12PM-3:30PM. See the planes without a million other people. We watched some of it sitting on the Lakefront Trail at Chicago Avenue one year or you can actually head up to North Avenue.
- Or grab some lunch and head over to Millennium Park or Grant Park or anywhere along the lake downtown. If your at Millennium Park the Grant Park Orchestra has an open rehearsal scheduled for Friday, August 18 11:00am – 1:30pm.
Chicago on the Cheap tips:
- If you’re heading to the beach to watch the show get there early. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to North Avenue, Oak Street, Ohio Street, Fullerton Beaches etc. so it will be extremely crowded. Guide to Chicago’s Lakefront Trail North.
- If you’re 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 won’t 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.
- Millennium Garages Parking Details: Park at Millennium Garages and Millennium Lakeside Garage at 5 S. Columbus Drive, Grant Park North Garage at 25 N. Michigan Ave. and Grant Park South Garage at 325 S. Michigan Ave.
- Packages: $35 parking plus FREE shuttle service from Millennium Park Garage to North Avenue Beach. Purchase Options: pay at parking location; call 312.616.0600.
- Divvy will be offering its Valet Service Saturday and Sunday at the following locations:
- Theater on the Lake (10am-6pm) and Clark & North (10am-6pm)
- Michigan & Oak (10am-6pm) and Streeter & Illinois (12-6pm)
- Tune into WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm for a live broadcast of the show. WBBM Newsradio will also provide livestream video on their website.
Rules and regs:
- You can bring a blanket, chairs and a cooler to the beach.
- You cannot bring the following to the beach during the show:
- Alcoholic Beverages and BBQ Grills (Open Flames), Fireworks or Explosives
- Illegal Substances & Weapons, Pop-up Tents/Canopies, Balloons, Kites, flag Poles
- All Pets (except Service Animals)