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Much scaled-back Air and Water Show planned for August

The Navy’s Blue Angels will be the only performers Aug. 21 and 22.

the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels fly over Chicago in their honor, Tuesday morning, May 12, 2020.
The Blue Angels will be the only team performing during this year’s Chicago Air and Water Show.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The Chicago Air and Water Show is back this summer for the first time since 2019 — sort of.

It’s going to be a lot smaller. In fact, only the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be taking to the skies along the lakefront this year, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.

The event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus.

This year’s event runs from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 21 and 22, according to the mayor’s office. You can also catch the practice runs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Aug. 20.

For the best view, head to the lakefront between Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue. The event is free.

The city used to bill the Air and Water Show as the largest free event of its kind. bringing nearly two dozen military and civilian aircraft and performing teams to the lakefront for two days of aerial acrobatics. The shows drew as many as 2 million people to the lakefront.

Updates about the upcoming show are expected to be posted at

Two years ago, storm clouds loomed over the lakefront for most of the first day of the event. Overcast skies halted the show twice. An early rain shower left pilots grounded for a quick 20 minutes, but the show took a longer, midday hiatus when heavier rainfall rolled in.