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Air n’ Water Wows

August 11, 2016
Chicago Air and Water Show

Chicago’s lakeside location means the city luxuriates in Insta-friendly water views, usually set off by an all-round relaxed vibe. Well, not when the Chicago Air and Water Show hits town, with extreme sporty types taking to the skies and lake, offering adrenaline highs aplenty.

Free to the public, this popular whizz-bang two-day weekend event, held from 20th to 21st August, sees throngs of dare-devil enthusiasts take to the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with the action centred on North Avenue Beach. Presented by Shell and the City of Chicago, it’s a classic in its 58th year.

Bring a blanket and bag a spot to catch air and watercraft demos by both military and civilian outfits, including headliners such as the US Air Force Thunderbirds, an elite band of pilots precision flying in F-16 Fighting Falcons, who perform intricate manoeuvres and stunts approaching the speed of sound. Also topping the bill are the US Navy Blue Angels, an acrobatic squadron made up of navy and marine pilots in zippy blue-and-gold planes, known for their terrifyingly tight formations.

Prefer parachute thrills? The US Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the US Navy Leapfrogs both love leaping out of planes from 12,500 feet, forming patterns with canopies or coloured smoke on the way down. Alongside vintage and modern aircraft, you’ll see coast guard helicopters and air-sea rescue boats doing their thang too. Whoosh!

20-21 Aug, 2016.

Chicago Air and Water Show / North Ave Beach / 1600 N Lake Shore Dr / Chicago Park / 10am-3pm / cityofchicago.org

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