As Chicago residents and visitors prepare for the spectacular Air and Water Show this weekend, authorities throughout the city are gearing up for the massive event.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications is reminding those preparing to attend the show to expect parking restrictions and traffic delays along North Avenue Beach as hundreds of thousands descend on the area.
The annual show will kick off Saturday at 10 a.m. and will run through 3 p.m. An identical schedule is planned for Sunday, as the Blue Angels and Golden Knights will be among the groups participating in the event.
“Ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone is our top priority, and we encourage those in the area to be aware of the crowds, be mindful of their surroundings, and pay attention to weather conditions,” OEMC Director Ron Guidice said in a statement.
Federal, state, and local agencies are coordinating safety measures and reminding everyone to be prepared for emergencies.
One key element of the city’s preparations is the installation of pole location signs, which will allow visitors to have a reference for where they’re located along the beaches over the weekend. It will also be key if first responders are required.
OEMC will also be working with the National Weather Service in case a cancellation is required due to severe weather. In the event that a cancellation is announced, visitors to the beach are encouraged to seek shelter, and if needed, to seek that shelter under underpasses and pedways near the event.
Weather forecasts call for temperatures in the low 80s, with some rain possible.
Visitors are also encouraged to use ridesharing or public transportation to get to and from the event, as parking restrictions will be strictly enforced throughout the weekend. If your vehicle is towed during the event, residents can call 311 for assistance in locating the vehicle.
The FAA has also issued a Temporary Flight Restriction for the duration of the show, meaning that drones and any other aircraft are not permitted to fly in the vicinity of the show.
Alcoholic beverages, pop-up tents, grills, kites, balloons, weapons, and pets are all banned from North Avenue Beach during the show.
In addition to the Air and Water Show, Chicago-area residents have several other options for entertainment over the weekend, including Pilsen Fest, the Bronzeville Jazz Mustic Fest, and the Little Italy Fest on Taylor Street.
Edison Park Fest, the Taste of Austin, and the Sangria Festival will also be held this weekend, giving Chicagoans a plethora of options for entertainment across the city.
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