Guide to the 2015 Chicago Air and Water Show

Guide to the 2015 Chicago Air and Water Show

Chicago Air and Water Show 2015 returns this weekend Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August16 (rehearsal Friday, August 14), along the lakefront between Fullerton and Oak Street, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

The show is easily Chicago’s most popular and widely attended attraction with over 2 million spectators expected.

Show Me Chicago has put together a guide to help you navigate the show.


  • The U.S. Navy Blue Angels who have been performing their amazing acts since 1946 will, once again, be on hand with their gravity defying flying and supersonic maneuvers in their F/A-18 Hornets.
  • The U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs are sure to thrill crowds as they jump out of aircraft 12,500 feet above North Avenue Beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph.
  • NEW for 2015, the Breitling Jet Team will perform in Chicago for the first time during their debut tour of the United States. The seven plane team will race through the skies in their L-39 C Albatros jets that can reach speeds of up to 565 mph.

Other performers include: AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Aerostars, Bill Stein Airshows, Chicago Fire Department Helicopter Air/Sea Rescue, Dave Dacy in the Super Stearman Model 70, Firebirds Delta Team, Matt Chapman Airshows, P-51 Mustang, Sean D. Tucker and Team Oracle and Team AeroDynamix (12-plane team). A complete list of performers can be found here.

Best Views

  • North Avenue Beach is the epicenter and the place to be if you want a close-up of the water part of the Air and Water Show.
  • Other options are available from as far south as the Gary International Airport in Gary, IN.  and north to Montrose Beach.
  • For a complete list of viewing options for the show from hotels, boats, beaches and restaurants, check out SMC’s 2013 Air and Water Show post on best views (things haven’t changed much since then).

Schedule of Events

  • There is no published schedule of events for the show as the information is decided daily by the pilots. However all acts are performed on each day so you don’t need to worry about missing your favorites.
  • If you want to make sure to catch the headliners, plan on staying throughout the day as they normally perform near the end of the show.

Rules and regulations

  •  You can bring or purchase food at many locations including North Avenue Beach.
  • Alcoholic Beverages, BBQ Grills (Open Flames), Fireworks or Explosives, Illegal Substances, Weapons, Pop-up Tents/Canopies, Balloons, Kites, Flag Poles and Pets (except Service Animals) are all no-no’s.


  • Admission to the show, as always, is free.
  • Refreshments cost extra.

Hours and location

  • The show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
  • The epicenter of the show, North Avenue Beach, is located at North Avenue and the lakefront.

Getting there

  • As always, public transportation is recommended.
  • Walking is even better.
  • If you must drive a good option is to park at Millennium Park Garages. You can walk from there to your destination or take the free shuttle to and from North Avenue Beach.


  • Even if you are at the show, you may want to bring a radio or app.
  • Play-by-play coverage of the show will air on WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am until 3 pm WBBM Newsradio will also provide livestream video on their website.

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