JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People of all ages took the stage at Unity Plaza Tuesday for a chance to sign the national anthem before Jacksonville's fireworks display this Independence Day.
Alani Davis, 12, was among the youngest to audition for Channel 4's "Oh Say Can You Sing" competition. She said she began singing at age 5 and felt confident after her performance.
"I can share my talents with people and make people happy," Alani said.
Kevin Swenszkowski tried out last year, but didn't make it to the final round. He's hoping this is his year.
"My father was a veteran. A lot of my friends are veterans," Swenszkowski said. "It's a real patriotic song and it means a lot."
Staci Anderson is retired after 42 years as a nurse. Even if she doesn't make it to the final round, she said she left her audition Tuesday feeling like a stronger woman.
"I'm living my life the way I imagined," Anderson said. "I'm just excited about life. I'm excited about getting to do some of the things I never had time to do while I was working."
A set of semifinalists from Tuesday's auditions will be called to a second round on April 30. From that group, three finalists will be selected to perform live on WJXT 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular program. The audience favorite will sing the The Star-Spangled Banner just before the fireworks light up downtown Jacksonville..