A Guide To The 59th Annual Chicago Air And Water Show

NOTE: Sunday’s schedule has been released.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Keep your eyes on the sky as this weekend marks the 59th annual Chicago Air and Water Show.

The Chicago Air and Water Show, presented by Shell and the City of Chicago, kicks off Saturday, Aug. 19 and continues Sunday, Aug. 20 along the lakefront, from Fullerton to Oak Street. North Avenue Beach is the center of the show taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

The show is one of the largest and longest-running free events of its kind and welcomes millions back every year to watch high-flying acts. This year’s headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Nights and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs.

Think you are ready to hit the beach and watch the two-day, sky event? Here is a guide to 2017’s Chicago Air and Water Show:

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels (Credit: City of Chicago)

Schedule:

The Chicago Air and Water Show takes place Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug. 20 at North Avenue Beach. The event hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. The National Anthem will be sung at 10 a.m.

Lineup:

-Military Teams:
U.S. Navy Blue Angels
U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights
U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs
A-10 Thunderbolt II
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor
AV-8B Harrier II
C-130 Hercules
P-51 Mustang
U.S. Coast Guard HC-144A Ocean Sentry
U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter

-Civilian Teams:
AeroShell Aerobatic Team
Aerostars
Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle
Bill Stein Airshows
American Airlines 787-8
The Firebirds Delta Team
Matt Chapman Airshows
Susan Dacy in the Super Stearman Model 70
Warbird Heritage Museum Foundation A-4 Skyhawk Jet Tac Demo
Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Resue

*Performers are not listed in order of appearance. The schedule is decided the morning of the show by the pilots. Performers are subject to change. For more information on the Chicago Air and Water Show performers, click here.

Voice of the Show:

Herb Hunter – “Millions know him as ‘the voice’ of the Chicago Air and Water Show that dazzles hundreds of thousands every year along the lakefront,” according to a City statement. “He has become a household name among Chicago fans and the air show industry nationwide. And his reputation as a consummate professional who talks the talk and walks the walk continues to grow today. ”

Herb Hunter used to fly in the show before becoming the show announcer over 20 years ago. For many years he flew the USAF KC-135.

herbhunter A Guide To The 59th Annual Chicago Air And Water Show

Herb Hunter (Credit: City of Chicago)

Who Will Tandem Jump with the U.S. Army Golden Knights This Year?

David Ross! The former World Champion Chicago Cubs catcher and Dancing with the Stars finalist will open the show at North Avenue Beach on Saturday by tandem jumping with the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. He will touch down in front of the Boat House at North Avenue Beach after the show opens at 10 a.m.

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David Ross (Getty Images)

Best Places To Watch:

The City of Chicago recommends watching either at the show center at North Avenue Beach, or anywhere along the lakefront from Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue. The City also suggests Ohio Street Beach as another option. High-rise buildings, restaurants and bars in Downtown and Lincoln Park are hosting watch parties during the show. To check out TimeOut’s list of places to watch, click here.

I Have A Boat. Can I Watch From The Lake?

Boat restrictions will start at 7 a.m. the days of the shows. You will have to follow the lead of the Coast Guard and the Police Marine Unit.

Accessible Seating:

Accessible seating is available on a first come, first served basis during show hours to individuals with disabilities. Primary Accessible Seating will be provided for the Air & Water Show at the north end of the North Avenue Beach House viewing stands. Beach mats will be in place for accessible travel over sand to/from the seating area. For more information on accessible seating, visit here.

Getting There:

-Public Transportation:

The CTA will provide extra service, both Saturday and Sunday, on the Blue, Brown, Green and Orange lines. There will also be extra service on the No. 72 North Avenue and No. 151 Seridan bus routes.

-Metra:

Metra will run extra service on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate Chicago Air and Water Show riders. Metra will provide extra trains on five of its 11 lines and expand passenger capacity on other lines to accommodate the large number of commuters. Metra also reminds families to save money by purchasing Metra’s $8 Weekend Pass, which provides unlimited rides on Metra all weekend. Plus, up to three children 11 and under are able to ride free with each adult through Labor Day. Full schedules for each line are available at metrarail.com.

-Divvy:

For the Air and Water Show, Divvy will offer Valet Service at select stations on Saturday and Sunday to guarantee a spot for your Divvy bike. Valet Service will be available at the following locations: Theater on the Lake, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Clark & North from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Michigan & Oak from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Streeter & Illinois from 12-6 p.m.

Taxi, Limos, Uber, Lyft and other Car Service:

Pick-up and drop-off locations will be South of North Ave, West of Clark St. – on Wells St. or Armitage Av.

-Parking:

The City of Chicago suggests guests to park at one of the Millennium Garages. Garage locations include 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. Parking packages are available for $35 all-day parking plus a free shuttle service is offered from Millennium Park
Garage to North Avenue Beach. Visit millenniumgarages.com for rates and reservations.

*There will be parking restrictions posted in the area and motorists are advised to read signage before parking on streets. If your vehicle has been towed, call 3-1-1 for assistance to locate your vehicle.

Prohibited Items:
-Alcoholic Beverages
-BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
-Fireworks or Explosives
-Illegal Substances & Weapons
-Pop-up Tents/Canopies
-Balloons
-Kites
-Flag Poles
-All Pets (except Service Animals)

Permitted Items:
-Blankets
-Chairs
-Coolers

*All containers will be subject to search.

Lost? Need Help? Injured? Witness criminal activity?

Look up and call 9-1-1 and give the letter/number on the pole nearest your location. “Pole Markers” attached to the light poles along the lakefront will help first-responders locate you quickly.

Will The Show Be Broadcast?

Yes! WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM will offer a play-by-play of the show on radio. Plus, WBBM/CBS Chicago will offer a livestream of the event on its website, cbschicago.com/airshow The livestream will also run on the WBBM Newsradio Facebook page.

For more information on the Chicago Air and Water Show, visit the City of Chicago website.

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