The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Readers of the New Testament are familiar with stories of Jesus on boats. There He taught doctrine, calmed storms, and even fell asleep.

For a fifth year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern California are sharing the story of Christ on a boat of their own at the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Actors aboard a 60-foot-long yacht decorated in Christmas lights are portraying the scriptural scene of the birth of the Savior of the world.

An estimated 1 million people are attending this year’s parade, held nightly from December 14 to December 18.

“They’re reminded about the true meaning of Christmas,” said Jeff Shields, organizer of the Church’s boat entry. “It’s a very spiritual thing to just watch the people on the docks and in the boats and in the windows and see the reactions. And some people cheer and applaud and are excited. Other people just stop what they’re doing. Small children grab their mom and say, ‘Look, it’s Jesus.’”

The parade, in its 114th year, stretches the 14-mile circumference of Newport Harbor and takes 30 to 40 minutes to watch. Event cochair David Beek said this year’s version has more than 100 vessels.

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