From daredevil stuntmen to some of the top pilots in the U.S. Air Force, the OC Air Show is a pure and awesome atmospheric spectacle.
The event began in 2008, after Bryan Lilley, now president of the OC Air Show, took in a similar event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"It was the first beachfront air show I ever saw," he recalled. "I emailed then city manager Dennis Dare to ask if they had ever considered a beachfront air show there. He responded that they had always wanted to host one but never had been able to get one started. We met with the mayor and (town) council and got permission to move forward, and the inaugural OC Air Show took place June 10-11, 2008."
An annual highlight of the show is the precision splendor of the Thunderbirds.
"It's our fifth anniversary, and we're thrilled to have the Thunderbirds back," said Lilley. "This is the first year we have two jet teams -- one military, one civilian -- performing for the crowd. Their routines are vastly different from each other so it's an impressive sight to see both at one show."
The 2011 Freestyle Aerobatic World Champion Rob Holland and former Red Bull Air Racer Mike Goulian will also perform.
The OC Air Show can be viewed free from the beach, and premium seating is available in the Drop Zone, Clubhouse Chalet and in the rooftop VIP Penthouse of the Quality Inn.
"I think it's hard not to come away with a sense of patriotism and awe for the men and women of our armed forces," Lilley said. "We have an impressive display of our military aircraft, and they are being flown by some of the bravest pilots who put their lives on the line for our freedom. And the precision of the jumpers and the aerobatic pilots takes your breath away."