(Jacksonville, FL) – Prior to the kick off of Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars game against the Washington Redskins, the cast of the Alhambra Theatre & Dining’s Elf the Musical will perform the National Anthem. Elf the Musical is the current production at the nation’s longest-running dinner theater, which opened in Jacksonville in December of 1967. This is the first time in the Alhambra’s rich 51-year history to perform at an NFL game. The Alhambra cast will take to the field at approximately 12:57 PM on Sunday, December 16 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.
Playing the national anthem before the start of regular season sports events became the standard with Major league Baseball in 1942. With the United States involved in World War II, the National Football League also included the playing of the Anthem before games. In 1945 NFL commissioner Elmer Layden said, “The playing of the national anthem should be as much a part of every game as the kickoff. We must not drop it simply because the war is over. We should never forget what it stands for.”
The Jaguars have a rich history of celebrating local talent for its pre-game National Anthem. The Alhambra joins a list of notables this season including Grammy-award winner Susan Tedeschi, The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Boyz 2 Men performed the first-ever Anthem at a Jaguars game in 1995 when the team opened its franchise against the Houston Texans.
“We are proud beyond belief for this honor,” said Alhambra Managing Partner Craig Smith. “Our nation deserves praise for what it continues to represent, and during this holiday season, particularly with troops over seas, it always rings a little louder. Honestly, to have our theater on the field as part of the Jaguars’ pre-game festivities actually gives me butterflies.”