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 Huntington Beach resident Kevin Elliott, seen on the Huntington Beach Pier this week, is the new owner of the Great Pacific Airshow, formerly known as the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow. (Photo by Mike Mullen)

Huntington Beach resident Kevin Elliott, seen on the Huntington Beach Pier this week, is the new owner of the Great Pacific Airshow, formerly known as the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow. (Photo by Mike Mullen)

[The below story appeared in the Los Angeles Times "Daily Pilot" section on 7/27/2018]

The popular air show that began in Huntington Beach two years ago will return under new ownership in October with an organizer’s pledge to make the renamed exhibition the largest “outdoor lifestyle” event in California.

“We’re going to be doing some big changes, some of which may be deferred to 2019, due to the impact of the timeline we’re dealing with,” said Huntington Beach resident Kevin Elliott, who took the helm of the event in June.

The aviation aficionado said he hit the ground running to “cram 24 months of work into four months” for an event he says has “great regional appeal.” Military aspects are already being requested for 2020, he added.

The free show slated for Oct. 19-21, originally known as the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow and now called the Great Pacific Airshow, features civilian and military aviation performers roaring over the beach before thousands of spectators.

“At the end of the day, Huntington Beach is our host city and venue, but it’s a Southern California air show,” Elliott said. “It’s a tremendous impact for Southern California. We wanted a name to reflect that.”

Elliott attended the inaugural show with his wife in 2016 and was inspired to offer assistance with plans to one day “bring it to local ownership.” His Huntington Beach-based design company, Code Four, will help produce this year’s event.

Popular acts such as the Air Force Thunderbirds will return this fall for a 75-minute air demonstration featuring 40 maneuvers that include a mix of formation flying and solo routines.

The lineup also includes Blackstone Airways, FedEx 757, Lyon Air Museum's Douglas C-47 and demonstrations from the Huntington Beach Police Department Air Support Unit.

New viewing opportunities, such as paid seating on the pier or a premium viewing area on the beach, will be offered, according to Elliott.

Event spokeswoman Barbara Caruso said Breitling, a Swiss watchmaker, will not return as the title sponsor; the company divested from aviation activities after being sold.

City leaders raised concerns about the event’s financial future last year after the inaugural show in 2016 lost about $400,000, despite attracting more than 560,000 visitors.

Those concerns were quashed in February after a study by city staff concluded that 2017’s air show — which drew more than 2 million spectators — helped local businesses and carried no additional taxpayer costs.

City expenses neared $169,000, including about $65,000 for police. However, Huntington Beach collected $92,000 in parking revenue, and the remaining costs, about $77,000, were recouped from the show promoter.

Mayor Mike Posey said in a statement that “our community has embraced the air show for the special experience it is — bringing together families and friends for a patriotic event. The air show is also important to the financial bottom line of the city of Huntington Beach, local business and beyond.”

For more information, visit pacificairshow.com.

 
 (L-R) Huntington Beach Mayor Mike Posey, Code Four CEO Kevin Elliott, and Huntington Surf & Sport Founder Aaron Pai

(L-R) Huntington Beach Mayor Mike Posey, Code Four CEO Kevin Elliott, and Huntington Surf & Sport Founder Aaron Pai

 

Airshow Makes Triumphant Return to Huntington Beach

­-Rebranded as The Great Pacific Airshow, US Air Force Thunderbirds to Perform October 19 - 21, 2018 -

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(Huntington Beach, CA)  July 12, 2018 – This October 19 - 21, the spectacular Airshow that launched in Huntington Beach, CA two years ago will make a triumphant return as The Great Pacific Airshow, a name that reflects the event’s regional appeal. Now owned by Pacific Airshow, LLC and produced by local Huntington Beach business Code Four, this year’s Airshow will feature the thrilling sights and sounds of The United States Air Force Thunderbirds and many more civilian and military performers.

 

Under the new leadership of Kevin Elliott, CEO of Code Four, The Great Pacific Airshow will return with similar activations as the 2017 show including the festival area at Pier Plaza, upgraded viewing experiences and corporate chalets. Code Four’s support of the 2017 show was integral to the event’s success. With local roots and major events and production experience, Elliott will spearhead the event’s production and growth as it becomes one of the country’s largest outdoor lifestyle festivals.

 

“The Great Pacific Airshow is an incredible event to have here in Huntington Beach, and I am honored and excited to be leading the show going forward,” said Airshow Director Kevin Elliott.  “The Great Pacific Airshow will offer attendees of all ages an enjoyable, family-friendly experience that also delivers business opportunities and economic value for Southern California.”

 

“Our community has embraced the Airshow for the special experience it is - bringing together families and friends for a patriotic event. The Airshow is also important to the financial bottom line of the city of Huntington Beach, local businesses and beyond,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Mike Posey. “We are excited to have Kevin Elliott and Code Four producing the event this year and into the future. Local ownership is exactly how we envision this event growing to new heights.”

 

Local partnerships are important to The Great Pacific Airshow, which has partnered with Huntington Surf & Sport as the exclusive provider of Airshow merchandise.

Last year, Huntington Surf & Sport designed and produced the official Airshow T-shirts, and this year, the company will expand their offerings.

 

“The Airshow has become a key event in the community calendar, and Huntington Surf & Sport is proud to partner with Kevin and the show to produce Official Airshow merchandise. This will be our 3rd year and we are super excited!” said Aaron Pai, owner and Founder of Huntington Surf & Sport.

 

The Airshow will continue its partnership with iHeart Media and KFI AM 640 that will include a free simulcast of the Airshow audio through the iHeartRadio App.

 

The Great Pacific Airshow is set to wow the crowd with the Air Force Thunderbirds’ sharply choreographed, drill-style routine exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet. In addition to the unparalleled refinement of the Thunderbirds, the family friendly show includes top civilian performers showcasing high-energy aerobatics, vintage warbirds and more. 

 

The Airshow is free of charge to the public. Last year’s show had over two million people in attendance and that number is only expected to grow this year. RV Camping will be available for local and faraway fans with a Thursday, 10:00 a.m. move-in and Monday, 10:00 a.m. move-out. The four-night stay is $1,600 and can be reserved at https://sunsetvistacamping.huntingtonbeachca.gov/

 

There are many ways for the community and local businesses to get involved with the 2018 show. Volunteers are needed, and vendor applications for food and beverage, brand activations and community organizations are currently being accepted through the Airshow’s website - PacificAirshow.com.

 

Sponsorship opportunities are now available as well as chalets for private events with premium viewing. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Barbara Caruso at 714/328-3273 or barbara@c-squaredpr.com. Follow The Great Pacific Airshow on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram - @pacificAirshow