Celebrating the Mormon faith at the Nauvoo Pageant

A cast in the 2012 Nauvoo Pageant rehearses Tuesday before the night's first presentation.

Thousands of people are on their way to Nauvoo this week as the town kicks off its 8th annual Nauvoo Pageant.

The pageant celebrates the legacy of the early Latter-Day Saints, or Morman faith.

The pageant emphasizes the mission of Joseph Smith and honors the sacrifice, faith and courage of the Saints who gave their all to build a city and a temple to their God.

Throughout the next four weeks, you'll hear authentic hymns, folksongs and lively dances. You can also hear through words taken from journals, sermons and historic records of the period during the pageant.

"This story is about the settlers from the Mormon church, the LDS church, why they came here, what they did here and why they left," Elder Derrell Foote said.

Production staff expect about 40,000 people to attend this year.

"It's exciting to see the buses come in, when they unload.150 people on each bus, and we'll see four or five a night. One night I counted 14," Sister Laura Lee Foote said. "We have performances Tuesday through Saturday every week. We bring in cast members from all over the world. It's an exciting thing to do and it's a wonderful pageant."

The Nauvoo Pageant kicks off Tuesday with a country fair at 7 o'clock and continues through August 4.