Notable Chicagoans will take flight for the 60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show

August 13, 2018

Che “Rhymefest” Smith will tandem jump with the U. S. Army Golden Knights on Saturday, August 18, Hometown Hero Kate Grant will fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and Chicago Public School Student Angel Cardenas will fly with Sean Tucker on Thursday, August 16

 

Che “Rhymefest” Smith will tandem jump with the U.S. Army Golden Knights on Saturday, August 18, landing at North Avenue Beach at 10am to open the 60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show. Preceding the show opener, Special Olympics Coach Kate Grant will fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as Chicago’s Hometown Hero, and Chicago Public School student Angel Cardenas will fly with Sean D. Tucker as part of the Young Eagle program on Thursday, August 16, in Gary, Indiana.

Che “Rhymefest” Smith, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning hip hip musician and founder of Art of Culture, Inc., will tandem jump with the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team on Saturday, August 18, to open the show. He will be jumping in memory of his grandfather, a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of the Airborne Division. Rhymefest grew up on Chicago’s south side and is known as a revolutionary artist, writer and activist. In 2005, he won a GRAMMY® for co-writing the legendary hit record “Jesus Walks,” performed by Kanye West. In 2015, Smith co-wrote "Glory" alongside John Legend and Common, for the 2014 motion picture Selma receiving the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Very active in the arts community, particularly with teenagers, he and his wife Donnie currently run the Chicago arts group Art of Culture Inc. Some of the organization’s young artists will also sing the National Anthem at the show.

Chicago’s 2018 Chicago Air and Water Show Hometown Hero is Kate Grant, a coach with Special Olympics of Chicago. She will fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds on Thursday, August 16, at the Gary Jet Center as part of their Hometown Hero Program, a program designed to highlight Chicagoans doing amazing things in their communities. Local heroes receive a one-hour Thunderbird orientation flight in one of the world's premiere fighter jets–the Lockheed Martin F-16D.

“I am honored to fly with the Thunderbirds to represent Chicago and Special Olympics as the Hometown Hero,” said Kate Grant. “I’m honored each day to work with amazing athletes who inspire me to do my best and to live by the Special Olympics athlete oath: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Chicago Public School student, Angel Cardenas will fly with Sean D. Tucker in the Oracle Challenger as part of the Young Eagles Flight Program on Thursday, August 16, at the Gary Jet Center. Cardenas is a freshman at Chicago’s Air Force Academy High School. “He is my top student in CPS's only aviation program and excels at classwork, but routinely does aviation orientated enrichment outside of class as well,” said Kristen Arambula, his aviation instructor. “Flying is truly a passion of his and one day he wants to be a military pilot and he is working hard to achieve his goal.” 

The Young Eagles Flight Program introduces approximately 75,000 youth to aviation each year. In 2013, the Experimental Aircraft Association named Sean D. Tucker Chairman of the Young Eagles. Tucker has assumed the responsibility with great commitment, engaging kids in aviation and recognizing the more than 45,000 volunteer pilots who have flown more than 2 million Young Eagles since the program began.

The 60th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show, presented by Shell and the City of Chicago, will take place August 18 and 19 along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach serving as the show center from 10am to 3pm daily. Strong in tradition and one of the largest free admission events of its kind, the Chicago Air & Water Show is proud to present these 2018 headliners: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs. The popular lakefront event features a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing their stunts in the skies above Chicago.

The Chicago Air and Water Show is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Shell Oil Products U.S. and sponsored in part by ABC 7 Chicago, American Airlines, America Dimensions, Bud Light, The Boeing Company, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, Communications Direct, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Lewis University Department of Aviation and Transportation, Oracle and WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM.

For more information, visit chicagoairandwatershow.us, join the conversation on Facebook (Chicago Air and Water Show) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ChicagoDCASE (#ChiAirandWater).

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

 

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