The Blue Angels soar again at the 2021 Chicago Air and Water Show

By K'Von Jackson, Photojournalist

This year’s annual Air and Water Show was reimagined with a solo act by the renowned United States Navy Blue Angels.

Popular events such as the Air and Water Show draw hundreds of spectators like Susan Cotton, a Chicago native who recently moved from the West Coast.

“I just moved back to Chicago after being in California for 20 years and always went to the shows in San Francisco,” Cotton said.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s Air and Water Show looked different compared to past years, with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels taking the spotlight as the only solo demonstration.

Despite the lack of variety this year, the Blue Angels put on a spectacular show for Chicagoans to enjoy after what has been a challenging year for many.

The Blue Angels paid tribute to Chicago Police officer Ella French, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood by flyingOfficer French’s badge with them during their final performance on Sunday.

Last year the Blue Angles performed multiple flyovers in various cities around the United States to say thanks for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I remember [the Air and Water Show] last year when they did a fly by for the medical professionals,” Cotton said. “Everyone was talking about being able to see the Blue Angels again and [being] outside.”

Cotton said she planned to make the most out of the weekend and advised others to do the same.

“Get out and enjoy Chicago and mask up,” Cotton said.