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The 2013 Chicago Air & Water Show promises to be fun despite no shows

The Chicago Air & Water Show
The Chicago Air & Water Show
Doug Boehm

Always one of Chicago’s best and most well attended free events the Chicago Air & Water Show will still be fun and entertaining but due to the sequester the 2013 edition will be a shell of the previous shows. Several acts will be missing but by far the act that will be missed the most is the headliners, the Thunderbirds. New acts have been brought in but nothing can make up for the spectacular sight of the Thunderbird’s jet planes zooming over and in between the skyscraper that line the Chicago lakefront. Also missing will be the military parachute teams and several military jets.

Chicago Air & Water Show
Doug Boehm

There luckily will still be many great acts to see. Sean D Tucker will perform stunts that will make you dizzy just watching them. There will also be lots of other talented stunt pilots and precision teams. The problem is that many of them are similar and none of them will get your adrenalin flowing like a jet screaming past at 500 M.P.H. There will be a couple of jets to help fill the void but they will not make up for all of the high tech jets that will be missing.

The one upside to this year is that the lack of a headline act will probably keep the crowd size down. There will still be hundreds of thousands of fans but traffic and space on the lakefront should be a bit better. The show times will be the same as always, 10:00 a.m. until 3: 00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Savvy insiders go on Friday for the practice day when there will only be a few hundred people but almost all of the acts will perform. The best viewing will be from Oak Street Beach to North Avenue Beach.