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Your Guide to Chicago's Air & Water Show 2012

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About the Chicago Air & Water Show 2012:

Considered to be the oldest and largest show of its kind in the country, Chicago's Air & Water Show attracts millions of spectators each year and features several high-flying acts, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Bill Stein Airshows Zivko Edge 540. The Air & Water show also features water-based performers including the Chicago Fire Department Air and Sea Rescue Team.

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When is the Chicago Air & Water Show 2012:

Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19, 2012. There is a pre-show Friday, August 17. The program is the same both days (Saturday & Sunday). This year's show will include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels; U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights; and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs.

Where is the Chicago Air & Water Show 2012:

Lake Michigan lake front from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street Beach. North Avenue Beach is the main area. (Planning on spending the day at the Air & Water Show? Check out our Chicago Beaches Guide.)

Admission to the Chicago Air & Water Show 2012:

Admission is free.

Getting to the Chicago Air & Water Show 2012:

If you take public transportation, you can take the CTA 151, 156, 22, or 36 buses. You can also take the EL (Brown Line) to Sedgwick and walk east to North Avenue Beach. (For tips on using mass transit in Chicago, check out our Using Public Transportation Guide.) If you drive, which is discouraged due to the millions of people attending the Air & Water Show, you can park at the Lincoln Park Zoo/North Avenue Beach parking lot off of Fullerton Avenue, just west of Lake Shore Drive. You can also park at the Millennium Garages south of North Avenue Beach near Grant Park and avoid the hassle of finding parking near the beach. Garage locations are Millennium Park 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. Prices for the Millennium Park Garages include a $35 all-day parking plus free shuttle service from Millennium Park Garage to North Avenue Beach.

List of Potential Featured Performers:

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
  • U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights
  • U.S. Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team
  • Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
  • Bill Stein Airshows Zivko Edge 540
  • Chicago Fire Department Air and Sea Rescue Team
  • Dave Dacy in the Super Stearman
  • The Firebirds ("extreme" style flying)
  • Lima Lima Flight Team
  • Matt Chapman Aerobatics
  • Sean Tucker & Team Oracle

More about the Chicago Air & Water Show:

There are boating restrictions on Lake Michigan on the days of the show starting at 7 a.m. You will have to follow the lead of the Coast Guard and the Police Marine Unit. The Air & Water Show is also broadcast live with play-by-play coverage of the show on WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
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