With their eyes glued to the skies over Lake Michigan, hundreds of thousands of spectators gathered along the lakefront to watch the first day of the Chicago Air & Water show.
"They do these maneuvers where they almost touch each other," said viewer Bob Chojancki.
The 56th annual show featured dozens of aerial and water stunts by military and civilian teams that left crowds in awe.
The Navy's Blue Angels made a return this year with their famed formations, marking a highlight for many watchers.
"They are just awesome piltos," said viewer Bob Hines.
CPS student Malik Baker managed to fly with one of the popular Blue Angels pilots.
"It was amazing," he said. "I was able to fly the plane and go upside down. That was the best part."
The U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs jumped from an aircraft 12,500 feet above the ground, and fell faster than 120 mph to make a perfect landing at North Avenue Beach.
With an initial budget of $88, the first show was held between Chicago Avenue and Lake Michigan in 1959 and featured a Coast Guard Air Sea Rescue, water skiers, a water ballet and a diving competition.
Viewers can watch the teams perform air and water stunts again Sunday along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street or at North Avenue Beach from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.