More than 1,000 people dressed as shepherds, wise men, and angels gathered at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, Utah last Monday evening. Their goal? To set a new world record by creating the largest living nativity scene.
Joining the huge throng of people were a donkey, a camel, and some sheep.
The event took just under a month to plan and put together. Organisers used social media to call for participants, and about 50 families volunteered to sew all the costumes.
Guinness World Record judge Michael Empric confirmed exactly 1,039 turned up, beating the record set just last year in the United Kingdom where 898 people participated.
But organisers said breaking the world record was not the essence of the event.
Derral Eves, one of the producers of the Provo event, said, "We wanted to do it simply to show the world what Christmas is all about. It is not all the presents, but it is about the true gift of Christmas—Jesus Christ."
Mormons made up the majority of the volunteers, but people from other faiths also joined in. YouTube celebrities and performers also took part in the event.
Among them were the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Piano Guys, and American Idol's David Archuleta, all of whom recorded a musical track for the production.
The Provo group will post a video of the whole event on YouTube this week.