August 16, 2017

Chicago's Air and Water Show to Illuminate the Lakefront this Weekend

OEMC reminds public to expect big crowds and traffic impacts for the largest FREE event of its kind in the U.S. August 19-20

The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) reminds those along the lakefront this weekend to expect increased crowds, parking restrictions and possible traffic delays as Chicago hosts the annual Air & Water Show, now in its 58th year, at North Avenue Beach on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20. The Show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue as the focal point. On both Saturday and Sunday, spectators can be entertained by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, among others, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“Chicago’s Air and Water show has been a long tradition for the city to enjoy as an end of summer event and as many flock to the lakefront, we encourage those in the area to be aware of the crowds and all that comes with a large outdoor gathering,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, OEMC Executive Director. “Public safety is always our top priority for these events, so that Chicagoans and visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Event organizers expect a crowd of more than two million over the two-day event. Other notable events planned for this weekend include the Bruno Mars concerts at the United Center on Friday and Saturday; Pilsen Arts and Music Festival from Friday – Sunday; Festa Italiana on Taylor St. from Friday –Sunday; Edison Park Fest from Friday – Sunday; India Independence Day Parade on Devon Av. on Saturday; and the Kendrick Lamar concert at the United Center on Sunday.

Public Safety and Security: Several federal, state and city agencies work together in advance to coordinate this show to make it as safe as possible for everyone. Security measures are in place for the safety of all and it is advised for those attending to be prepared conditions to avoid emergencies. OEMC will monitor the event and asks those attending to also be vigilant and cognizant of surroundings. As always, if attendees see something, they should say something by reporting it to on-site public safety personnel or by calling 9-1-1.

Pole Locations: Get lost in the show, not at the beach! Attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the light poles along the Lakefront area to help them reference their location to friends, family and first responders if there is an emergency or if they get separated from the group.

Weather Conditions: At this point, weather conditions are predicted to be mild, with temperatures in the low 80s; however, it’s always recommended that those attending check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. In the event of extreme weather, OEMC reminds the public to adhere to announcements and seek shelter, if needed, at various underpass and pedway locations near the event. Get free real-time traffic and weather alerts at

Optional Weather Shelters: Underpass weather shelters are located at Diversey Harbor, Fullerton and LaSalle. Pedway locations are at Division/Scott, Oak Street and Chicago Avenue. These locations can serve as temporary weather shelters during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, high winds, lightning or hail storms.

Prohibited Items: The following items are prohibited at the event: such as alcoholic beverages, pop-up tents, grills, illegal substances and weapons, and pets (excluding service animals). All containers will be subject to search.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is encouraged. CTA and Metra provide additional service for the event. For more details, visit the CTA website at or call 1-888-YOUR-CTA. For Metra, visit or call (any area code in region) 836-7000.

Taxi Cabs and Car Service: For those traveling to and from the event by tax or ride share service, pick-up and drop-off locations will be South of North Ave, West of Clark St. – on Wells St. or Armitage Av.

Divvy: Divvy will be offering its Valet Service at select stations on Saturday and Sunday to guarantee spot to dock Divvy bikes for those attending the Show. Locations include the following: Theater on the Lake (10am-6pm); Clark & North (10am-6pm); Michigan & Oak (10am-6pm); and Streeter & Illinois (12-6pm).

Parking: 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. Parking is available at Millennium Garages, which offer free shuttles to and from North Avenue Beach. For more details, visit

Accessibility: Primary accessible seating is available during show hours for people with disabilities at the north end of the North Avenue Beach House viewing stands. See for more details.

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