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Air Show Fans Find Different Perspectives To Watch The Stunts

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The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over the lakefront during the 2012 Chicago Air & Water Show. (Credit: CBS)

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over the lakefront during the 2012 Chicago Air & Water Show. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Blue Angels closed out Chicago’s 54th annual Air & Water Show this afternoon. For spectators, it was all about the view.

CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman found some unique spots where people found a different perspective for the Air & Water Show.

You might want to take note for next year — some of these unique spaces can help you avoid the crowds, but might also come with a cost.

It was standing-room-only Sunday afternoon along North Avenue Beach, the official viewing area for the Air & Water Show. A sea of people took to the beach, and even the lake itself to watch pilots maneuver through the sky and boats cruise the waves.

Alyss Anderson and Ren Wilkey came from Joliet to watch the show.

“Unfortunately the beach was all taken up, but we managed to find this little shady spot. You can see we have the perfect view up here,” Wilkey said as they sat on a sandy hill off the beach.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Members of the Burries family – a party of 12 – said they planned ahead, and landed prime beach real estate.

Marty Burries said his brother and nephew did the hard part.

“He had to get him and his boy up at 4 o’clock to get out here, and we just brought the food and came later,” he said. “We have our own VIP.”

However, there were plenty of people who thought the beach wasn’t the best spot to watch the show.

While some tenants of Lake Shore Drive high-rises sat on their rooftops to watch the planes zoom by, about 50 people were higher than any apartment rooftop in the city – watching the entire show from the Signature Room, on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center.

For $130, they got to watch the Air & Water Show, and relax away from the lakefront crowds with unlimited food and drinks.

Gerald and Cynthia Stewart, from far south suburban Crete, called the view “spectacular.”

“Best view in Chicago,” Gerald said.

Believe it or not, at times, this group was higher in the sky than the jets flying by.

Susan Girard, of northwest suburban Barrington, said it’s much easier on her neck watching the planes perform their stunts mostly at eye level, rather than having to tilt her head up all day.

“You can watch them go by, they come real close, you get to see the formations in the clouds. It’s really cool,” she said.

No matter where most people landed this year to watch the show, it was all about what you make of it.

City officials estimated 2 million people attended this year’s show.

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