Residents and visitors of South Padre Island will be able to celebrate the holiday season with a fun activity that highlights the scenic beauty of the area.

Gulf Guardians, a nonprofit organization on South Padre Island, is going to host a free Salty Santa Surf Contest on Friday, Dec. 24 at the Coco Beach Hotel, located at 2612 Padre Blvd.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with free surfing lessons for registered inexperienced surfers.

(Courtesy: SPI Sessions, Gulf Guardians and Salt Life)

Registration and check-in for the surfing contest will be held from 11 a.m. to noon.

Individual divisions include — Gnarley Gnomes for ages two to 12, Rippin Reindeer for ages 13 to 34, Salty Santas for ages 35 to 50 and Far Out Frosty’s for ages 50 and older.

The contest begins at noon.

All division heats are 15 minutes. Additionally, all divisions are co-ed. One wave must be caught to be judged.

All competitors must be in costume. There will be prizes for best dressed guest santas.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone come out and participate,” Gulf Guardians Director Aarin A. Hartwell said. “Since it’s a free event that’s promoting a good environmental cause that will benefit everyone in the long run, we anticipate and hope for a good turnout.”

(Courtesy: SPI Sessions, Gulf Guardians and Salt Life)

Gulf Guardians’ mission is to educate, inspire and engage current and future guardians of the Gulf through classroom support, professional development, events and community outreach programs.

Friday’s event is part of the nonprofit’s Holiday Surf Series fundraising efforts for the Plastic Free Padre project.

Gulf Guardians’ Plastic Free Padre project aims to eliminate single-use plastics and waste, implement strategic solutions and develop a market for plastic-free alternatives.

As part of the series, Gulf Guardians held Halloween and Thanksgiving themed surfing events. Gulf Guardians members say their success in the series allows them to raise much needed funds to support initiatives that will help keep beaches clean and implement programs like Plastic Free Padre.

“We look forward to kicking off the Plastic Free Padre event in January with a grant opportunity from Keep Texas Beautiful and partnership with Plastic Free Gulf Coast and look forward to working with the restaurants and bars in our area,” Hartwell said.