Marine News from the Great Lakes

Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show

Entertainment and More at Chicagoland Boat Show

Published: Friday, August 5, 2016

A brand makeover will be evident to the thousands of boating enthusiasts who will attend the 2016 Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show opening in Michigan City (IN) for four days, August 11-14.

Whether you think the more than 200 boats on display are surrounded by new entertainment features or the activities are surrounded by new boats, it will be a boating rendezvous atmosphere dockside for Lake Michigan’s only annual in-water boat show.

New boat models are the stars at any boat show and this year’s edition will have plenty. A sampling includes the new Sea Ray 400 Sundancer; the new Boston Whaler 330 Outrage; the new Prestige 550 Sport Coupe; the new Formula 37 Performance Cruiser; or the new Regal 46 Sport Coupe, a short list of what will be dockside. Overall, because the boating industry is seeing steadily increased sales, new model from most of the nation’s top boat builders will be on display – brands like Boston Whaler, Cruisers, Tiara, Meridian, Lund, Scarab, Hurricane, Bayliner, Four Winns, and Jupiter to note a few.

The fleet aside, show manager Bryan Ralston says show visitors can expect a lot more. “If people are going to take valuable time to attend, they want to have a fun experience. After all, boating is fun, so we’ve added things that will give the family a good experience.”

For example, for the first time this show will have a Kidz Zone featuring the return of Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel. The world’s most famous rodent last appeared in this show 4 years ago. But that's just one feature of the Kidz Zone. Face painters, bounce houses, Water Rollerz, music and more will round out the activities center for youngsters while parents will be drawn to the stage featuring singer-songwriter Jeff Tucker, the Rockin’ Party Barge, fishing seminars, casting challenges, and new food choices, like the popular Blue Chip Casino Food Truck.

More than 10,000 boaters from the tri-state area (Illinois, Indiana and Michigan) are expected to attend this year to see boats ranging from aluminum fishing boats to 50-plus-foot motor yachts, most displayed in-the-water and all available for boarding. Nautical accessory displays are housed in dockside tents.

Show hours will be:

Thursday and Friday (Aug. 11-12) 12 Noon to 8:00PM
Saturday (Aug. 13) 11:00AM to 8:00PM
Sunday (Aug. 14) 11:00AM to 6:00PM


$12 Adults
Seniors 60+ $8.00
Children 12 and under FREE

Discount $2 off adult ticket price with online purchase.

For latest show information, go to:


tags: Lake Michigan, Boat Show


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