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Photos: Chicago Air & Water Show kicks off on the lakefront

Team Oracle and Sean D. Tucker perform Saturday at the Chicago Air & Water Show. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Hundreds of thousands of aerial onlookers made their way to the lakefront Saturday for the 60th annual Chicago Air & Water Show.

The summer spectacle kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parachute mission by the U.S. Army Golden Knights — who brought along Chicago rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith for the ride — and the Navy Leap Frogs.

Video by Colin Boyle | Chicago rapper Rhymefest reacts to tandem jumping with the Army Golden Knights during the 60th Chicago Ai

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Air and Water Show 2018

After landing, an inspired Rhymefest spoke about his venture from the skies to North Avenue Beach.

“Young people everywhere around Chicago should learn how to do this,” Rhymefest said. “I really think living like this will create more ideas and will [promote] a lot of positive behaviors,” he continued, asking one Golden Knight to speak to South Side youngsters.

Dozens of jaw-dropping displays by military and civilian aircrews, along with water rescue demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard, took place for five partly sunny hours.

Video by Colin Boyle | Flying in a T-6 Texan with right wing pilot Bryan Regan of the AeroShell Aerobatic Team on August 16, 201

Air & Water Show veteran Sean D. Tucker performed one of his last solo shows, flying in his custom Oracle Challenger III that will be donated to the Smithsonian National and Space Museum in 2021.

Prior to a headlining performance by the Air Force Thunderbirds, the Golden Knights commemorated fallen Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer by presenting a “Blue Line Flag” and a baton to Bauer’s family and colleagues.

The day wrapped up with a thunderous performance by the ‘Birds, as six F-16D jets soared and maneuvered around the city.

The skyward celebration continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Chicago Air & Water Show — A closeup look at the 2018 participants

Ballet at 27,000 feet: Thunderbirds refuel midair ahead of Air & Water Show

Air and Water Show veteran to perform final Chicago show before solo retirement

Rhymefest will tandem jump with parachute team to open Chicago Air & Water Show