An estimated 1.7 million spectators watched the Chicago Air & Water show this weekend. NBC Chicago's Emily Florez reports.
It was a perfect summer day to look up into the sky.
“Beautiful clear skies…couldn’t ask for anything better,” said spectator Howard Person.
People filled the beaches, some even making their way to watch the show from the water.
Even after 55 years of production the Chicago Air and Water Show filled the skies yet again with almost every kind of aircraft.
“I liked the hovering jet,” said Tom Huerta, who traveled from California to watch the show. “Looked at us, took a bow.”
The Chicago Fire department also took center stage re-creating a rescue effort.
There was a lot of action at the weekend shows, even with some of the biggest acts missing due to the sequester.
The show has lost some of its luster this year with the absence of military planes, but city officials assured fans of the show that enough replacement groups were hired to make up for headliners such as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
A mix of six new corporate and civilian groups -- including some using former military planes -- have been tapped to perform this year, like the GEICO SkyTypers and the All Veteran Parachute Team. (View Lineup)
Even with the changes, officials said an estimated 1.7 million people came out to the city to watch the show.
Most spectators and aircraft-lovers said the show was still a hit, said despite the loss of historic headliners.
“I’m okay with it,” said Latrice Wilson, who attended Saturday’s show. “They are not here so that’s a disappointment, but the show is still good.”
“The slower airplanes are more fun to watch because you can actually see what they are doing,” Person said.