Surfing Santas group draws a crowd in Fla.

Dec. 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM   |   Comments

COCOA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- More than 200 Santa impersonators dove into the Atlantic ocean in Florida to make the largest ever "Surfin' Santas" charity event, officials said.

The event, which took place north of Cocoa Beach, began as a family party several years ago, organizer George Trosset said. He and his children were amused by a Nissan commercial that featured Santas on surf boards. He and his two children imitated the video with the help of a few friends. The next year, the party grew to 19 surfers dressed as St. Nick.

From there, it went up to 84 surfers in 2011 and 159 surfers last year. This year, Trosset said 210 people dressed as all manner of Christmas characters -- elves, Mrs. Claus and the like -- participated, Florida Today reported. A horde of onlookers grew so large Trosset and Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom said they're considering moving the event from behind Trosset's oceanside home to downtown Cocoa Beach to accommodate the crowds.

"I think we'll have to move. If we can move next year to downtown Cocoa Beach, that's probably what we'll do. We are definitely maxed out," Trosset said

T-shirt and other sales at the event go to Grind For Life, a charity that offers transportation for Space Coast cancer patients to travel to Orlando or Miami if they need specialized care. Trosset said they raised $4,000 this year for the group.

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