CHICAGO (WLS) -- From Oak Street to Fullerton Avenue, thousands of people marveled at the skies Saturday as the Blue Angels soared over the Chicago Lakefront.
The U.S. Navy fighter jet demonstration team returned to the Windy City for an abbreviated spin off of the traditional Air and Water Show as Chicago continues reaching for a return to normal.
For over three decades, Herb Hunter has been the voice of the Chicago Air and Water Show. It's an event that always puts the exclamation point on a Chicago summer. The frontman is hopeful to see the crowds return.
"Airplanes break out the kid in everybody, and you get down here at the beach and you see the crowd reaction, how can you not be excited?" questioned Hunter.
He's not alone. Crowds patiently waited through an almost half hour delay then craned their necks to see the F/A-18 Super Hornets' mind-blowing maneuvers. A times the jets were just 18 inches apart.
8-year-old Ava Margolis and her little brother Ethan said it was loud but still fun.
"I really liked that trick when they like what up together and then they split up, and then came back together," said Ava.
Their mom said it seemed like a lighter crowd this year, making it possible for a chance to get up close.
"We brought masks, we were ready just in case. We were in a bigger crowd but yeah, no, we felt very comfortable hanging out here plenty of space around people," said Lacey Margolis.
"I gotta shake their hands because it was really amazing to see," said Air Show fan Tahseen Almas.
And even more surreal to feel from the cockpit, something I was lucky enough to experience this week with Blue Angel 7, call sign "Whiskers."
Today "Whiskers" is narrating the show form North Avenue Beach as his fellow Navy pilots soared through the Chicago skyline.
And the Blue Angels aren't done showing off in Chicago yet. They're back downtown Sunday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
WATCH: Past Chicago Air and Water Show Highlights
WATCH MORE: Blue Angels practice along Chicago lakefront