Canyon Lake resident and former police officer Frank Opp and his son, Trevor, are gearing up for the 22nd Annual Santa Claus Ride on December 24. This annual event benefitting Orangewood Children’s Home draws approximately 500 participants each year.
The Opps encourage all motorcyclists to join the ride. Registration is not required; however, each participant is asked to donate an unwrapped toy, a gift card, or money.
Riders are asked to wear a Santa suit. Passengers should dress up as Mrs. Claus, an elf, a snowman, or in other holiday attire. “Please, no colors,” Opp said. “This ride is about the spirit of giving, comradery, Christmas spirit, and local support. Please be festive and giving.”
The Santa Claus Ride starts at 7 a.m. at the Huntington Beach Elk’s Lodge, 7711 Talbert Ave., where participants pick up their ride pin and enjoy a breakfast burrito for $10. Extra pins will be available for $5 each.
Riders will depart from the Elk’s Lodge at 9:15 a.m. and travel to the Orangewood Children’s Home to deliver the toys. From there, riders will travel to Balboa Island and then to Main Street in Huntington Beach where the ride ends.
At the conclusion of the ride, the Opps invite all participants to lunch at Hell’s Kitchen Motorsports Bar and Grill, a restaurant Frank and Trevor purchased in 2017. After suffering a devastating loss in a fire in 2021, Hell’s Kitchen relocated to 520 Crane St., Lake Elsinore.
Riders who participate in the Santa Ride will receive 20 percent off their food bill. The Opps are donating 30 percent of the sales to a local children’s organization.
Opp founded the Santa Claus Ride in 2000 when he and some friends thought it would be entertaining to dress up as Santas and ride their motorcycles on Christmas Eve. Trevor, just three years old at the time, dressed up as an elf and rode with Opp.
Trevor graduated from elf to Santa when he received his driver’s license and Opp gifted him the motorcycle Trevor rode on as a youngster in the first Santa Claus Ride. “Trevor and childhood friend, Randi Andrade, were the only two kids on our first ever ride,” Opp said. “They both still participate and carry on this tradition every year.”
Six Santas participated in the first ride. Today, about 500 individuals participate in the ride annually.
Opp chose Orangewood Children’s Home because the organization is near and dear to his heart. As a former Huntington Beach police officer, Opp would sometimes have to place children in the care of Orangewood Children’s Home.
For more information about the Santa Claus Ride, visit hbsantaclausride.com or call 951-457-4448.
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