COCOA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The ever-popular "Surfing Santas" will be making waves on Cocoa Beach again this Christmas Eve morning. This time they hope to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of surfers riding one wave.
In what has become a celebrated tradition along Florida's Space Coast, hundreds of surfers each year don their Santa suits and head to Cocoa Beach for this one-of-a-kind local holiday event, which draws a massive beachside crowd that has reached more than 8,000 in recent years.
As the ninth annual Surfing Santas event approaches this Dec. 24, area residents are bubbling with anticipation over just how many Santas might take part and if they will be able to break the world record for the most surfers on the same wave.
"This event is all about bringing the community together and celebrating the Christmas spirit," said organizer George Trosset, who is credited with starting this annual ritual. "To break a world record would be the icing on the cake, but, deep down, we've just truly enjoyed the holiday celebration and tradition that has developed courtesy of these many, many Surfing Santas."
The 2017 extravaganza begins at 8 a.m. along the beach near 2 Minutemen Causeway (where the causeway intersects with N. Atlantic Avenue, also known as Florida Route A1A) and is expected to continue until noon. Plenty of parking is available and numerous area restaurants will be open to serve Surfing Santas participants and spectators.
"Christmas Eve is, of course, a busy time for Santa, but each year he spends that particular morning enjoying the sun and surf of Cocoa Beach, the surfing capital of the East Coast," smiled Trosset. "Surfing Santas is a fantastic gathering of locals, surfers and visitors from around the world who want to enjoy some fun in the sun during the holidays."
All the Surfing Santa antics and beachside fun support good causes. To date, more than $60,000 has been raised from donations collected at the annual Christmas Eve event and from sales of the official Surfing Santas T-shirt. Proceeds benefit two local nonprofit organizations: Grind for Life and the Florida Surf Museum.
Grind for Life is a cancer support group whose mission is to provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families when they travel long distances to visit doctors and hospitals. The 18-year-old Florida Surf Museum preserves and documents all aspects of the unique history and culture of Florida surfing, exposing visitors to the heritage and traditions of the surfing community.
"Surfing Santas is an excellent opportunity to attract visitors to the Space Coast and give them a taste of our culture" said Eric Garvey, Executive Director of Florida's Space Coast Office of Tourism. "The one-of-a-kind nature of the event contributes to holiday tourism here in a special way. And it gives visitors even more to talk about when they get back home."
Since anyone of any age and skill level can participate as a Surfing Santa, exactly how many Santas will head to Cocoa Beach this Dec. 24 remains to be seen. The only requirement is to show up with your board and dressed as Santa or his helpers or any other character depicting the holiday spirit. In the past, there also have been reindeer and Christmas tree Surfing Santas, Rastafarian Surfing Santas, and even a Batman Surfing Santa. There are no rules about costumes, as long as one remembers this is a family oriented event.
For the second year in a row, there will be a costume contest open to everyone in attendance. Anyone can participate by dressing up in a winter-themed outfit of their choice. Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each division (babies, children, groups, men, and women). With thousands again expected to show up for the big day, the Surfing Santas phenomenon is something that should not be missed.
For more information, visit www.visitspacecoast.com and follow along with the event under #SurfingSantas.
ABOUT FLORIDA'S SPACE COAST
Florida's Space Coast is a family friendly destination located 45 minutes east of Orlando. Encompassing Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and the Beaches, Port Canaveral, Titusville, Palm Bay and Viera, it is home to the world's second-busiest cruise port and 72 miles of beaches (the longest stretch in the state), as well as 190,000 acres of wetlands and waterways full of habitat found nowhere else. Florida's Space Coast is home to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where rockets still soar into orbit. For more information, contact Florida's Space Coast Office of Tourism at (877) 572-3224 or visit VisitSpaceCoast.com.
SOURCE: Florida's Space Coast Office of Tourism
430 Brevard Avenue
Cocoa, FL 32922
SOURCE Florida’s Space Coast