August 14, 2019

Chicago’s 61st annual air and water returns to 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.

Drones prohibited – violators will be subject to enforcement;

Several large-scale and community events also planned citywide throughout the weekend

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 at North Avenue Beach on Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 18. The Show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton St. to Oak St., with North Av. as the focal point. On both Saturday and Sunday, spectators will be entertained by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, among others, from 10 Am to 3 Pm . In addition, Friday is a full practice day and aircraft can easily be seen and heard downtown.

“Chicago proudly welcomes residents and visitors alike to enjoy the long-standing end of summer tradition of viewing the 61st annual Air and Water Show along our beaches,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “Ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone is our top priority, and we encourage those in the area to be aware of the crowds, be mindful of their surroundings, and pay attention to weather conditions.”

Other notable events planned for this weekend include Pilsen Fest on Saturday and Sunday; Bronzeville Jazz Music Fest on Saturday; Little Italy Festa on Taylor St. from Friday through Sunday; Edison Park Fest from Friday through Sunday; Taste of Austin Friday through Sunday and the Sangria Festival Saturday and Sunday in Humboldt Park.

Public Safety and Security: Several federal, state and city agencies work together in advance to coordinate the 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 for conditions to avoid emergencies. OEMC’s Operations Center will monitor the event and conditions citywide. As always, OEMC asks those attending to be vigilant and cognizant of surroundings. If residents or spectators see something, they should say something by reporting it to on-site public safety personnel or by calling 9-1-1.

Drones: The FAA has issued a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for the duration of the Air and Water Show and the operation of any aircraft other than those participating in the show is in violation of state and federal law and will be subject to enforcement. A drone, known as an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), is considered by the FAA as an aircraft and the TFR applies.

Pole Locations: Get lost in the show, not at the beach! Spectators are reminded to be aware of the signage with numbers attached to the 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, with potential rainfall; 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 by following OEMC on Twitter via the handle @ChicagoOEMC or at

Optional Weather Shelters: The following locations can serve as temporary weather shelters during extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, high winds, lightening or hail storms. Underpasses: Diversey Harbor, Fullerton St. and LaSalle St. Pedway locations: Division St. & Scott St. and Oak St. & Chicago Av.

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

Water Safety: The Chicago Fire Department is also asking residents to take extra precautions when using area waterways. All swimmers should have access to flotation devices, be aware of their surroundings as well as changing weather conditions and water levels.

Public Transportation: As always, 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 taxi or ride share service, pick-up and drop-off locations have been geographically designated along the northbound North Avenue entrance ramp to Lake Shore Drive.

Divvy: Divvy Ambassadors will be at four stations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to ensure riders can always take or return a bike. Locations include the following: Theater on the Lake; Clark St. & North Av; Michigan Ave. & Oak St.; and Streeter St. & Illinois St.

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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