“Since Santa has a busy night ahead of him on Christmas Eve, he likes to spend the morning enjoying his favorite pastime, which is surfing,” says founder George Trosset. “And because Cocoa Beach is the East Coast surfing capital, it’s no surprise he comes here to catch the best waves and mix with his fans. Around here, this show the Surfing Santas put on is known as ‘the ride of Christmas magic.’ It’s very spirited and zany and diverse. This is Central Florida’s best Christmas party and there’s nothing else like it.”
When: December 24, 8am-12pm
Where: Minutemen Causeway Beach, Cocoa Beach
7:00am Band Starts – Aquanuts
8:00am M/C Arrives – Hunter Joslin
8:30am Invocation – Pastor Keith Capizzi
8:45am Christmas Songs – Anna Lusk / Balsa Bill
9:00am Costume Contest
10:00am Santas Gather for Group Picture
10:30am Santas Released To Go Surfing
11:00am Brevard Hawaiian Dancers (Halau Ilima O Pololika)
12:00pm Event Ends (but the party doesn’t stop!)
What started out as a small, family day in Cocoa Beach has turned into a global phenomenon. People from all over congregate on Christmas Eve in Cocoa Beach to celebrate the holidays with Santa, friends and family. Whether you surf or you’re looking to join in the holiday spirit, there’s no other beach having this much fun on Christmas Eve!
There’s a good reason folks along Florida’s Space Coast flock to Cocoa Beach’s downtown oceanfront early in the morning on Christmas Eve. Everyone wants to stake out a prime viewing spot for what has become a wildly popular annual ritual in these sunny seaside parts: the celebrated arrival of “Surfing Santas.” Surfing Santas Cocoa Beach is an annual Cocoa Beach tradition that brings hundreds of surfers of all ages dressed up as Santa. The costumes are as diverse as the people that wear them. Watch them ride in on the waves and kick off your holiday beachside at this free event that benefits local, charitable causes.
If you’re anywhere near Cocoa Beach, the surfing capital of the East Coast, during Christmas weekend, you don’t want to miss this outrageous local holiday tradition. Last year, nearly 800 Surfing Santas showed up to catch some of Cocoa Beach’s finest waves, entertaining a beachside crowd estimated at nearly 10,000.
Now in its second year, the crowd can participate in a costume contest. Dress up in your favorite winter themed outfit – snowman, Santa and Mrs. Claus, gingerbread man, reindeer, elves – for your chance to win prizes. This year there will be five categories:
- Babies (0-3)
- Kids (4-15)
- Group (2 people or more)
- Men (16+)
- Women (16+)
Costume contest starts at 9am, followed by Santa surfing out at 10am. There are no rules, so anything goes… well, almost! This is a family-friendly event, so please keep that in mind. To ensure the safety of both surfers and spectators, the Cocoa Beach police, fire department, lifeguards and EMT personnel are on site.
Cash prizes for first through third place: $50 for first, $25 for second, $15 for third in individual categories and $100 for first, $50 for 2nd and $30 for third in the group category. One Grand Prize winner, the people’s choice from the first place winners, will win a Surfing Santas Surfboard!
What does Surfing Santas Cocoa Beach Benefit?
Surfing Santas Cocoa Beach takes great pride in helping those in need. With every piece of Surfing Santas Swag sold, they’ve been able to raise over $60,000 for local charities.
There are two charities dear to Surfing Santas Cocoa Beach – The Florida Surf Museum and Grind for Life. Since 2014, this event has been made possible by the efforts of The Florida Surf Museum, the Trosset family and and its many volunteers. The Florida Surf Museum preserves and documents the unique history and culture of Florida surfing. Experience the heritage and traditions of the surfing community through events, exhibits and programs.
Grind for Life offers financial assistance to families suffering from the effects of cancer. Every dollar received by your generous donations and purchases make a difference and impacts many lives.
The whole thing started as a beach day with a one Cocoa Beach local dressed up as Santa catching a wave. On December 24, 2009, George Trosset went surfing dressed as Santa with his son and daughter-in-law dressed as elves. Florida Today newspaper published a picture on the front page of the Christmas Day issue. George’s friends saw the picture and inquired about joining him the following year. The next year, even more people wanted to join the fun. A local skydiving enthusiast, Chuck Jullian, contacted them shortly after and asked if he and a few of his skydiving friends could land on the beach dressed in Santa Suits the following year. By now the news media had joined for this unique fun day. This coverage added to the crowds for 2013. By this point, the event had grown so big, they had to find a new location. When they approached the city of Cocoa Beach about moving the event downtown, they were received with open arms. Their friends at Fat Kahuna Restaurant served up an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and donated the proceeds to the event. Local artist, Keith Coffman, donated the event T-shirt design. The Secrets of Cocoa Beach Gift Shop, Coconuts on the Beach and Surfinista Cafe all sold the event T-shirts, which benefited Grind for Life and The Florida Surf Museum. On December 24, 2017, 800+ Surfing Santas and nearly 10,000 spectators made their way to Cocoa Beach for some holiday fun in the sun!
The community’s support has been overwhelming, and Surfing Santas Cocoa Beach thanks everyone who wants to ride the Surfing Santa wave.