COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Thirteen years after starting the biggest Christmas party on Cocoa Beach, George Trosset expects Saturday to be coldest Surfing Santas yet.
“Santa’s kind of used to the cold, anyways,” Trosset joked Friday as organizers set up stages and tents for the annual event at Coconuts on the Beach.
[TRENDING: Vandals cause $1 million in damage to Volusia dam system installed after hurricanes, officials say | TIMELINE: Here’s when the bitter cold arrives in Central Florida | Become a News 6 Insider]
On Christmas Eves with warmer weather, Trosset said as many as 500 surfers in holiday costumes entertain as many as 10,000 people watching, but with temperatures Saturday morning expected in the 30s or 40s, organizers now think they’ll be lucky if they draw a few hundred surfers.
Trosset said a decrease in attendance is not expected to hurt Surfing Santas’ charities, though.
Thousands of Surfing Santas t-shirts are sold year-round to benefit the Florida Surf Museum and cancer patients.
“We’ve shipped t-shirts to almost every state in the nation, and I think the money we raise will be better than ever because of our early efforts,” Trosset said.
Lifeguards said the water temperature should be in the 60s.
“It’s going to be pretty chilly after being in the water,” surfer Ian Gibbs said.
Gibbs advised those who do participate to wear a wetsuit and then dry off as soon as getting out of the water.
Chriss Duff said he joins Surfing Santas every year, and he’s not skipping surfing Saturday.
“I’m pretty sure I need a full suit, hoodie, booties, gloves,” Duff said. “It’s going to be freezing.”
The first event Saturday morning starts at 7:30 with the surfers taking the water at 10 o’clock.
Stick with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for continuing coverage of Surfing Santas.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: