Chanute Air Force Base held Open Houses for the citizens of Champaign County from 1926 until the base closed in 1993. Thousands of people attended the Open House celebrations to watch air shows, see airplane exhibits, and meet the Air Force soldiers.

Chanute AFB Open House Program, August 1945

A flyer for the First Annual Field Day, held on September 22, 1926, invited the public to “come early and stay late” to “see the treat of your life.” The day included “all around athletics of every description by the Air Corps Personnel” and “free eats of every description and old fashioned Lemonade.” 3,000 visitors arrived at the base. They were treated to tours around the field, live music by the famous Chanute Field Band, parachute jumping exhibitions, and an awards ceremony in the General Mess Hall.

Airplane Formation Preparing for Flight, 1937

Visit our Flickr album to see photographs and programs from the Chanute Open Houses!

- Liz, Archives Intern