Always a historic event in the city, the Chicago Air and Water Show returns for its 54th year this weekend (with North Avenue Beach serving as the focal point of the action).
Further south though, a historic event of another kind will also be taking place as Navy Pier welcomes ships of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Navy to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Probably best-known for having inspired one of the nation’s most famous patriotic songs (ahem: “Star Spangled Banner”, anyone?), the War of 1812 was the conflict that started our country’s rise to global influence, fought primarily to affirm our rights to trade freely with other countries without interference from Britain’s Royal Navy ships on the high seas.
Get up-close-and-personal with these magnificent vessels and chat with Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsman from August 16-19, as the ships drop anchor and visitors are invited onboard for tours.
If you are planning to visit on Wednesday, August 15th, make sure to stay for Navy Pier’s biweekly fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. The evening’s show will pay a special tribute to the Navy and feature a patriotic soundtrack that includes Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner”.
About the Ships – War of 1812 Bicentennial at Navy Pier
The frigate USS DeWert (FFG-45), the coastal patrol ship Hurricane (PC-3), and the Canadian coastal defense vessels HMCS Moncton (MM-708) and Summerside (MM-711) arrive in Chicago on August 14th. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrives on August 15th and all ships depart on August 20th. DeWert will be in the harbor and the other ships will be at anchor at Navy Pier.
For hours, additional information and to view the full schedule of events visit Navy Pier online.