In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Chicago has joined the State of Illinois in issuing a Stay at Home order effective Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CT. In addition, City of Chicago facilities are closed to the public. Staff are prioritizing essential services to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees. As such, we may be delayed in responding to non-essential inquiries and service requests. To stay up to date on the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit the City Coronavirus Response Center site.
North Avenue Beach
Chicago, IL 60614
Need help? Lost? Injured? Witness criminal activity? Look up and call 9-1-1 and give the letter/number on the pole nearest your location. "Pole Markers" attached to the light poles along the lakefront will help first-responders locate you quickly.
Visit our Accessibility FAQs page for information.
Tune into WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm for a live broadcast of the show.
You can purchase food at the food vendors stationed along the lakefront. Food offerings include hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, nachos, ice cream, water and soft drinks.
Chicago Air & Water Show Frequently Asked Questions.
Be sure to grab your sunscreen, sun glasses, bottled water, ear plugs and binoculars (if you have them) before heading out to the Chicago Air & Water Show.
The majority of planes flying in the show take off and land at the Gary Jet Center in Gary, Indiana.
Some of the military planes fly in from bases around the mid-west. They time their flight to fly over the show at an exact moment.
14 federal, state and city agencies work together to put the show on safely each year.
All pilots perform stunts over the water in a set safety area. When a plane does fly over buildings, it is merely doing so in its flight path to return to the show area or the airport.
On average, 2 million people view the show annually.
At 61, the Chicago Air and Water Show is longest running free show of its kind in the United States.
In 1959, the show cost $88 dollars to put on. Today, with the help of generous corporate sponsors like Shell, Boeing, American Airlines, WBBM Newsradio, ABC 7, The Chicago Tribune, Oracle among others help to make the show possible and FREE to the public.
When the show was held at Lakeshore Park between Ohio and Oak Street beach, Lake Shore Drive was sometimes closed.
Also at Lakeshore Park, the Golden Knights didn’t have a beach to land on so they landed in the Water. Chicago Park District Lifeguards fished them out of the water.
Herb Hunter (“The Voice” of the Air and Water Show) used to fly in the show before becoming the show announcer over 20 years ago. For many years he flew the USAF KC-135.
For travel information, visit www.transitchicago.com
Avoid the crowds if you are driving, park at Millennium Park Garage. Air & Water parking is available at Millennium Garages with free shuttle to and from North Ave. Beach, visit www.millenniumgarages.com
Information on Chicago's Visitor Information Centers.