Chicago Air and Water Show, Ribfest and More Headline a Busy Weekend of Festivals and Events Citywide

August 17, 2023

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications Encourages Residents to Stay Vigilant and Report Suspicious Activity by Calling 9-1-1


Chicago’s Air and Water Show at North Avenue Beach along with multiple festivals and concerts are happening throughout the city this weekend, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is advising residents and visitors to be aware of street closures, additional crowds, increased traffic and to plan accordingly. OEMC is advising residents, to stay vigilant and enjoy the weekend safely and responsibly.   


This weekend, the City of Chicago will have citywide deployments to ensure the safety and security of the public. The OEMC will monitor weekend events and weather conditions citywide from the Operations Center and will coordinate public safety resources with critical stakeholders as needed. Traffic Control Aides (TCAs) will be on hand at select events citywide to direct flow and impacts from increased traffic.   


For all events, be prepared for weather conditions including heat and thunderstorms.  This weekend is expected to be in the upper 80’s and low 90’s.  Be sure to stay hydrated to avoid heat impacts. Be aware of your location and weather shelter if needed.  


Report Suspicious Activity:  If You See Something, Say Something™ OEMC reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity – especially in large gatherings. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. Although the City has not received actionable threats, the Department of Homeland Security released an advisory on May 24, 2023 -  National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin. DHS emphasizes the continued heightened threat environment across the United States. It notes that “lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and personal grievances continue to pose a persistent threat to the United States.”   


Chicago OEMC App – Know Before You Go   

For safety and preparedness at your fingertips, residents and festival goers are encouraged to download the Chicago OEMC App. The public safety tool provides safety information, preparedness tips, emergency alerts, weather information and more in the palm of your hand. Users will also have access to current forecasts, radar, and other weather-related information as well. The app is available through the Apple App and Google Play stores or visit the website  


Clark After Dark | 420 North Clark Street   

Thursday, August 17 at 7 p.m.
USO Clark after Dark is held in River North, at 420 N. Clark St on W. Hubbard Street, between N. Clark and N. Lasalle streets. USO of Illinois’ annual Clark After Dark block party celebrates America’s military service members and their families. In 2021, they will be celebrating their 13th anniversary! Proceeds from the event benefit the USO of Illinois program and services that serve more than 326,000 military personnel and military families of Illinois. For details, visit  


Chicago Air and Water Show | North Avenue Beach   

Friday, August 18, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Practice)   

Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.   

The City of Chicago and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) proudly present the 2023Chicago Air and Water Show, Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20 along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach serving as show center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Established in 1959 and one of the largest free admission events of its kind, headliners of the 2023 show include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.   

Public transportation is recommended for getting to the show.  Spectators can plan their CTA trip by using. There is no public parking at the North Avenue Beach over Air & Water weekend. Millennium Park Garages has discounted pre-purchase parking and a shuttle (with lift) from the garage to inner DuSable Lake Shore Drive.   


Metra provides extra service on four lines for those coming to the lakefront.  Note: Alcoholic beverages and glass containers are not allowed on trains all day Saturday and Sunday.  Also, due to anticipated high-ridership this weekend, it is likely that trains will not be able to accommodate bicycles on board.   

For public safety, green and white pole markers are attached to light poles at North Avenue Beach from Oak Street to Fullerton serving as location identifiers if spectators need to call 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity, an emergency or injury. The numbers provide first responders with your exact location. They can also be used to reunite with family or friends should you become separated.   


WBBM Newsradio 780 / 105.9 will broadcast the show live Saturday and Sunday, on both the radio and the free Audacy app. For more information, visit    


Ribfest Chicago | Northcenter   

Friday, August 19, 5 – 10 p.m.; Saturday, August 20, noon–10 p.m. and Sunday, August 21, noon–10 p.m.   

The festival is located along Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Berteau Avenue. For complete details, visit  


Other Weekend Events   

Other events throughout the weekend that may impact traffic|/crowds include:   


Bulls Fest – United Center Lot K   

Saturday, August 19 – Sunday, August 20, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.  

Free non-ticketed event bringing a 3v3 basketball tournament, food trucks, dunking competitions, live music, an art show and more basketball-themed programming to the United Center campus.  Traffic Control Aides (TCA) will be on hand to facilitate traffic.  


Little Italy Festa – Taylor Street  

Thursday, August 17 – Friday, August 18 (5 p.m.-10 p.m.), Saturday, August 19-Sunday, August 20 (noon-10 p.m.)  

Chicago’s Little Italy Fest-Taylor Street celebrates the great history of the neighborhood by celebrating the rich culture of the generations of Italians who settled there decades ago.  The Fest is on Taylor St from Racine Ave to Ashland Ave; Streets are closed on 1236-1600 W Taylor, 929-1013 S. Laflin, 900 – 928 S. Ada St., 914 – 1010 S. Loomis St.  


Pilsen Fest – 1600 – 1800 S. Blue Island Ave  

  Saturday, August 19-Sunday, August 20, noon-10 p.m.  

Blue Island will be closed from 16th to 18th Street.  


  Sangria Fest – 3021 W Division St.  

  Saturday, August 19-Sunday, August 20, noon-10 p.m.  


Chicago Cubs vs Kansas City Royals – Wrigley Field  

Friday, August 18- Sunday, August 20, 1:20 p.m.  


Chicago Fire vs Orlando City SC – Soldier Field  

Sunday, August 20, 7:30 p.m.  


Chance the Rapper – United Center  

Saturday, August 19, 8 p.m.  

Gates open 6:30 p.m.  


Public Transportation: For all large events, public transportation is encouraged. Public transit is the most affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly way to get to and from summertime events. For more information, visit and   


Weather and Public Safety:  OEMC will monitor events through a collaboration with public safety partners. OEMC advises Chicagoans to be aware of weather conditions and to follow instructions and heed all warnings from public safety officials. Residents are encouraged to check the weather before heading out. For the most up-to-date information, please tune into local media or download a weather app.   


OEMC issues alerts and notifications needed to keep residents and attendees up to date on weather conditions and emergencies.    

  • Sign up for NotifyChicago alerts at   
  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5   
  • CHIBIZ: For alerts affecting businesses, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3   

Grant Park and Lakefront Poles Markers/Location Identifiers: For public safety on the lakefront, residents and visitors are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the light poles throughout the Grant Park area and along the lakefront. The green signs with white letters and numbers are also located from 2400 N. DuSable Lake Shore Drive to 6600 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street to Fullerton and Montrose to Foster Avenue to help residents reference their location within the park to friends, family and first responders if there is an emergency and you call 9-1-1.   


For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook (@coemc)Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).  

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