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Air & Water Show Returns Saturday: What To Know If You Go

By  David Matthews and Tanveer Ali | August 16, 2017 5:52am | Updated on August 18, 2017 11:41am

 The U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team is among this year's Air & Water Show performers.
The U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team is among this year's Air & Water Show performers.
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CHICAGO — The Air & Water Show will return to Chicago's lakefront Saturday, boasting a lineup including the Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team and other high-flying acts. 

Here's what to know before you go.

What Is It? 

Now in its 59th year, the Air & Water Show features some of the top military and civilian pilots in the country. The pilots wow crowds with flips, barrel rolls and other tricks, with the city skyline and Lake Michigan serving as a backdrop. City officials say the event draws 2 million people annually, making it the largest free air show in the United States. 

When Is It? 

The show will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday along the lakefront, with North Avenue Beach serving as a focal point. 

Where's The Best Place To Watch?

The show is centered on North Avenue Beach, but organizers recommend anywhere between Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue along the lakefront for viewing. Ohio Street Beach is another good option, and many high-rise restaurants and bars Downtown and in Lincoln Park offer specials during the show. 

Is There Accessible Seating?

Accessible seating stands will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to people with disabilities at the north end of North Avenue Beach. 

What's The Schedule? 

The participating pilots determine the schedule the day of, but headliners such as the Blue Angels will perform last. 

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

Depends where. Boat restrictions will start at 7 a.m. the days of the shows, with police and the Coast Guard directing boaters.

Is The Show Broadcast? 

WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM will air the show on radio, and WBBM will also have a livestream on its website. ABC7 is also covering the show. 

I Work Downtown. When Do The Pilots Start Practicing? 

There will be spot flights Wednesday and Thursday as well as a dress rehearsal Friday.

Who's Performing? 

Here's a preview:

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