Spectators dodge Air & Water Show crowds during practice run

August 16, 2013 (CHICAGO)

On Friday, the acts went through a practice run. It was a perfect opportunity for folks hoping to avoid the big crowds to see the action.

Millions of people are expected to flood the lakefront this weekend for this year's Air and Water Show.

"It is awesome, the kids are loving it right now," said Rita Johnson, spectator.

And everyone has their favorite.

"I would say the hover craft is pretty cool," said Cecilia Johnson, spectator.

With the show not starting until Saturday, why is the Gibbons family here on Friday?

"Today is the perfect day for the air show. There are no crowds, you can pick anywhere on the beach to go. It's a beautiful day," said Tim Gibbons, spectator.

And they are not the only ones.

We found many families, like the Stulls, with their canopies set up.

"Once we got it all out here, we spread it out like a tent, popped it all out," said Doug Stull, spectator.

And they are ready for a less crowded, but equally impressive "practice" air and water show.

"We come to the practice show pretty frequently. It's a little less crowded, it's a little more enjoyable," said Stull.

Disappointing many this year will be the absence of the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds because of the government sequester. The military is not taking part in the Air and Water Show this weekend.

But with six new acts to replace them, including the all-veteran parachute team and the Aerostars aerobatic team, organizers promise something for everyone.

"It's ok, we still make a day out of it," said Gibbons.

This year's Air and Water show officially begins Saturday morning at 10am and runs through Sunday.

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