The British are Coming! The 61st Annual Chicago Air and Water Show will Welcome the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows

March 22, 2019

Other highlights include U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs and civilian aerobatic teams


The City of Chicago will welcome the ambassadors of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, to the 61st Annual Chicago Air and Water Show this August 17 and 18 along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach serving as show center from 10am to 3pm daily. Chicago will be the RAF Red Arrows’ first stop in the United States on their 2019 tour of North America. Strong in tradition and one of the largest free admission events of its kind, the show headliners also include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs.

“It’s an honor to welcome the Red Arrows to Chicago to be a part of the largest show of its kind and one of the city’s longest running events along our City’s lakefront,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “As a Midwest summer tradition for tourists and residents, the free admission Chicago Air & Water Show contributes an approximated $78 million in total business activity to the Chicago economy and has an estimated attendance of more than a million.”

The RAF Red Arrows are renowned as one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, having performed almost 5,000 times in 57 countries since 1965. Flying nine BAE Systems Hawk fast-jets, the team showcases the excellence of the Royal Air Force and demonstrates the global reach and capability of the Service, together with representing the best of British at home and overseas. During their North American deployment – which will be the largest to the region in a generation – the Red Arrows will help to support a range of British interests and promote trade and cooperation, as part of the United Kingdom’s prosperity agenda.

“Extensive preparations are well underway to bring the Red Arrows to Chicago, where we aim to present a safe, memorable and visually-exciting formation display to new audiences,” said Wing Commander Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. “The visit to the Chicago Air and Water Show will form a big part of the Red Arrows’ largest ever tour of North America, which underlines the long-standing partnership between the United Kingdom and the United States. We hope thousands of people will get to enjoy our displays, which demonstrate teamwork, precision and excellence – both in the air and on the ground.”

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been astounding audiences since 1946 with their gravity defying flying, commanding presence and supersonic maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornets. The brave men and women of the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs will inspire spectators as they jump out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth’s surface to a perfect beach landing on North Avenue Beach.

The show will feature a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing their stunts in the skies above Chicago. Acts confirmed for 2019 include: 4 Force, American Airlines, Bill Stein Aerosport, C-130, Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue, Chicago Police Department Helicopter, Firebirds Delta Team, Matt Chapman Air Shows, Rob Holland, Sean D. Tucker and Team Oracle (NEW two-plane demo), Susan Dacy, Warbird Heritage Foundation P-51 Mustang, U.S.A.F. A-10, U.S.A.F. KC-135, U.S.A.F. C-130, U.S.A.F. T-38, U. S. Navy F-18, U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo and show announcer Herb Hunter, the “Voice of the Chicago Air and Water Show” for the last 32 years.

For close to 26 years, ABC 7 Chicago has helped make the Chicago Air and Water Show one of the most exciting local traditions for families throughout the Chicagoland area. This year ABC 7 is creating “Air and Water Show Week” on Eyewitness News with special features starting Monday, August 12 and leading up to coverage on Eyewitness News on Saturday, August 17, and Sunday, August 18, as the thrilling, high-powered tradition takes to the skies. Spectators on Lake Michigan and along the lakefront can watch and listen with WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM as they broadcast the show live both days and provide live streaming video coverage at

The Chicago Air and Water Show is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored in part by ABC 7 Chicago, American Airlines, America Dimensions, The Boeing Company, Bud Light, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, Communications Direct, GEICO, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Oracle and WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105. Organizations interested in corporate partnership, please contact or 312.744.9217.

For more information, visit, 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.


# # #