CHICAGO (WLS) -- Planes will be soaring along the lakefront Friday to go through practice runs and offering a preview of this weekend's Chicago Air and Water Show.
The Blue Angels were already flying above Chicago on Thursday and on Friday, other aerial acts including Team Oracle will be in the skies Friday.
CHICAGO AIR AND WATER SHOW GUIDE: What you need to know
The Chicago Air and Water Show is in its 61st year and is the largest free air and water show in the country.
"This has become a summertime tradition not only in Chicago, but in the Midwest. People come from all over to be in Chicago this weekend because it's the best weekend of the year," said Mary May of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and people are encouraged to take public transportation.
Herb Hunter has been the voice of the Chicago Air and Water Show for 32 years.
"It's the fans and the crowd and the kids out here and airplanes bring out the kids in everybody, so it's so exciting and it's here free for the people of Chicago and all of our guests and it just makes the summer," Hunter said.
Former Blackhawks star and Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios will be jumping with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team on Saturday.
"It's going to be a great weekend and I'm looking forward to it and I'm honored to be chosen as the honorary jumper," Chelios said.
The Chicago Fire Department performed an air/sea rescue demonstration Friday morning.
"Friday is the best day because its less crowded you get the exact same show you get on Saturday and Sunday and weve been lucky with weather its always been beautiful on Friday,' said Kevin Marschall, who took advantage of Friday's practice show.
The Royal Air Force's Red Arrows will be performing at their first Chicago Air and Water Show this year.
"We are a military demonstration team, similar to your Blue Angels, and we've been in existence for 55 years and we've come all the way from the UK," said Squadron Leader Martin Pert.
The USAF F-16 Viper Demo will also fly about the city at this year's Chicago Air and Water Show.
"[It] started it as a kids family day. The first budget was $88 and the only act that was in the air was the United States Helicopter Rescue. Everything else was life guards boat races, swimming and floats. But that spirit is still alive and this is still here for the kids in the city," Hunter.