Chicago Air and Water Show

A look ahead at the 2023 Chicago Air and Water Show schedule

NBC Universal, Inc.

Update: You can find our latest stories on the Chicago Air and Water show schedules here and here. Our original story continues below.

The 2023 Chicago Air and Water Show is just days away, bringing thousands downtown to watch a spectacular show above and on Lake Michigan.

While the show is well known as the largest free event of its kind, the roaring noise of aircraft soaring over Lake Michigan often startles those who live near the lakefront.

Though Thursday marks the technical start of the show with media day festivities, residents will likely first hear the event come Friday morning, when practices are slated to begin.

From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, practices over Lake Michigan are expected, with Thunderbirds expected to practice from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again from 2-3 p.m., though schedules may change.

Shows on Saturday and Sunday will also go from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with those attending advised to wear sunscreen.

The aircraft participating in the show will take off from Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, and perform stunts over a specific section of Lake Michigan.

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