TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (FOX 13) - Sunday marked the 113th Epiphany celebration for the Greek Orthodox community in Tarpon Springs. The event is called, "The Feast of Epiphany, The Feast of Lights." It celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ by Saint John the Baptist in the River Jordana.
The annual celebration brings thousands of people from around area. It's the largest Epiphany event in the Western Hemisphere.
The highlight of the event happened Sunday morning when 57 boys jumped into a lake to retrieve a cross. The retriever is said to receive a years of blessings.
This year's receiver, 17-year-old Ilias Skandaliaris, was grateful for the opportunity.
"I can't believe I got it," he said. "Thank you for everything. All of your blessings."
Christian Chrysakis, last year's retriever, was there to wish is brothers well.
"I'm so happy for these kids because they're doing something that not a lot of people get to do and they're enjoying it together as brothers and that's the best part about it," he said. "You're with a bunch of kids you grew up with and even the kids you don't grow up with you meet them and then your friends for life."
In usual tradition, Skandaliaris was carried on the shoulders of other boys to a celebration nearby.