It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s going to be Vince Vaughn, Hollywood comedian and Chicago’s native son jumping in one the largest free shows of its kind in the U.S. of A. The 2010 Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend, Aug. 14-15, along Lake Michigan with a magnificent view of Chitown’s skyline. An estimated 2.2 million spectators will come to see top aerial and water acts perform.
Since 1959, this Windy City summer event has pulled off spectacular exhibitions on the lakefront, drawing audiences to the beach from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street. Next to “The Taste,” (of Chicago), it puts the metropolitan region on the map as one of the season’s oldest events.
Vaughn returns to his hometown after filming “The Dilemma” earlier this summer with director Ron Howard, actors Kevin James, and Winona Ryder. The comic sensation of “Swingers,” “Wedding Crashers,” “The Break-Up,” and “Old School” flicks, also a frequent attendee of Blackhawks games, will jump Saturday with a parachute team. Bill Murray took the plunge two summers ago with the U.S. Army Golden Knights, landing on North Beach.
Vaughn will be part of a tandem team, taking to the skies at 12,500 feet. The show will be broadcast on WBBM AM for those who can’t make the trek downtown.
Such acts as The Thunderbirds, (the Air Force Demonstration Squadron), The Leap Frogs, and Red Bull Helicopter have razzle-dazzled crowds coming to see death-defying, phenomenal stunts and aerial feats.
This year’s headliners include the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, (yeaahhhh! They’re always awesome!), the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Lima Lima Flight Team, Red Bull Helicopter, the Firebirds, plus more!
With the main action happening on North Beach, the Air and Water Show kicks off at a new time this summer; water and air performances occur simultaneously from 11am-4pm, both Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15.
There is no specific scheduled time for acts. The pilots decide the day of the event the sequence of performances, so come on down and get ready for some sky-flying fun.
If you are in the downtown area on Friday, you can get a sneak preview on Practice Day of things to come. That’s when they warm up and perform low-flying stunts in and around high rises and the lakefront section of town. Run to a local roof top or Lake Shore Drive and check it out.
How To Get There
Go Green: CTA Bus Routes 151 and 156 get you there without driving your car. (Schedules here).
The lake front is a short walk from Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile section.
Ride your bike and park it outside of the festival grounds.
Taxis are also available. Water Taxi’s, too! (For water travel. go here).
More info on public transpo here.
Driving? Park here.
What To Bring
The OK List: blankets, chairs, towels, sheets, coolers, picnic lunch
Prohibited Items: alcoholic beverages, BBQ Grills, weapons, illegal substances, pop-up tents, beach umbrellas. and pets.
What You Need For Protection: sunscreen, water, hat, sunglasses
Hotel and Accommodations: Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 South Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, IL, 60616. For reservations, call 312-567-1234 or go here.
Sites Near the Performance Area to See: Navy Pier, (info here), Lincoln Park Zoo, (Zoo happenings here), Magnificent Mile, (Shop, eat, talk, and walk here), Millennium Park, (More here), Grant Park, (Visit the Park here), Art Institute of Chicago (Go here).
Information on the Chicago Air and Water Show, 2010, here.
suntimes.com, explorechicago.org, transitchicago.com, mccormickplacehyatt.com, chicagoparkdistrict.com