The Sideshow

Step aboard the country’s largest floating holiday light display (VIDEO)

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

There is no shortage of Christmas light display stories each holiday season. But how often do you see a massive display of holiday exuberance on the ocean waters?

Southern California does a lot of things in its own unique style and the holiday season is no exception. For the past 104 years, the residents of Newport Beach have held a Christmas Boat Parade that has become the largest in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the world, drawing in an estimated million visitors each year.

As part of our Sideshow video series, we traveled down to Newport Beach to take in the opening night ceremonies of this year's boat parade. What we found was a sight for the senses and a series of characters that help make this holiday light display one for the ages. David Beek takes viewers through some of the parade's history and amazing facts. And when it comes to the parade's history, Beek is a trusted source -- his family has been involved in helping to organize the parade for generations and he's been a part of it for nearly his entire life.

Nearly 100 boats turned out for the opening run -- with some boats showcasing displays of more than 50,000 lights. And while most participants do so simply for fun, there is a spirited rivalry amongst some of the contestants to see who can pull off the most impressive lighted boat display each year. We sat down with the reigning champion crew of "The Last Hurrah," to find out what drives them to keep coming back each year in pursuit of the competition's grand prize.

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