2017 Chicago Air & Water Show

Posted: August 15, 2017

This weekend, August 19-20, is the 59th annual Chicago Air & Water Show, featuring headliners like the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. We've updated our annual guide to provide you with the inside scoop on enjoying the show!

Get all the important details you need below, from transportation to parking, and you can get more information and full details at the official web site.


When:Saturday and Sunday August 19 and 20, 10 am - 3 pm

Where: Lakefront at North Avenue Beach

Admission: FREE


The epicenter of the event is right at North Avenue Beach, but you can still get a great spot almost anywhere up and down the lakefront. Best viewing spots include:

  • North Ave Beach
  • From North Ave Beach south to Oak Street Beach and Navy Pier
  • From North Ave Beach north to Fullerton or up to Diversey


Public transportation will absolutely be your best bet, as parking will be hard to find. The North Avenue Bus will bring you directly to the show from any points due west, and there are many other options depending on where you're coming from. Visit www.transitchicago.com for more details.


Park at Millennium Garages and avoid the hassle of finding parking near the beach! Garage locations are Millennium Park Garage 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 all-day parking plus FREE shuttle service from Millennium Park Garage to North Avenue Beach.
Visit www.millenniumgarages.com for more information.


Divvy will be offering its Valet Service at select stations below on Saturday and Sunday to guarantee you a spot to dock your Divvy bike. So get a 24-Hour Pass, hop on a Divvy bike, and make your way to the beach! Docking stations:

  • Theater on the Lake (10am-6pm)
  • Clark & North (10am-6pm)
  • Michigan & Oak (10am-6pm)
  • Streeter & Illinois (12-6pm)


  • Plan ahead - map out your parking/travel ahead of time so you can get right to the show.
  • Stake out your spot early. You can bring a blanket and cooler and claim your space before it gets too crowded.
  • Bring water! There will be places where you can purchase water, but it's easiest (and less expensive) to bring your own. Make sure you have snacks too - hunger in the heat can be dangerous too!
  • Pack your sunscreen. Protect your family's skin, and don't forget to re-apply! Also consider bringing sunhats and sunglasses for all family members.
  • Bring hearing protection for kids who might not like - or might be scared of - the noise.
  • Come prepared... you can't count on a diaper changing area!
  • Know that you'll likely end up taking kids to a port-o-let if they've got to go.
  • Pick a meeting spot for your family in case you get separated.
  • Think about bringing some portable activities for your really little ones in case they get a little bored between acts.
  • Considering attending the practice run on Friday - it's the full show, without the crowds!
  • Don't forget the camera!

This year's headliners include:

  • 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 Hornets.

  • U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights
    Jumping out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth's 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.

  • 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. During free fall, jumpers reach speeds of 120 mph and can accelerate up to 180 mph.

  • A-10 Thunderbolt IIn
    The A-10 Thunderbolt II is the first Air Force aircraft specially designed for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective and survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

  • U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor
    The F-22 Raptor defines air dominance. The 5th Generation F-22’s unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness, combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world.

  • AV-8B Harrier II
    The AV-8B Harrier II is the U.S. military’s only short takeoff, vertical landing jet aircraft in current inventory. Originally flown in the late 1960s, the Harrier has undergone a series of improvements that have increased safety, range and lethality.

  • And more! Visit for a full listing of performers. .
For more information on the show, including a full schedule of performers, FAQs and more, visit www.chicagoairandwatershow.us