ST. MARYS — America’s Got Talent, the nation’s most popular TV show the past 10 summer seasons, is coming to St. Marys.

While auditions are held for the show’s 12th season next week in Jacksonville, an NBC film crew will bring five contestants who have already made the cut to St. Marys. Jacksonville is one of 10 cities where auditions will be held for the upcoming season.

People across the nation and internationally will get a chance to see contestants in Howard Gilman Memorial Park, strolling along the St. Marys River and enjoying the park fountain. The hope of some local officials is that a national audience discovers the magic that makes St. Marys such a desirable place to live and visit.

Coastal Georgia Film Alliance Chair and Camden Film Commissioner Doug Vaught said it will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the beauty of the city to an audience of millions.

“AGT has chosen St. Marys because of its cinemagical setting and its film-friendly environment,” Vaught said.

He has been pulling permits and establishing locations for the show during the past few weeks.

“Roughly 9.4 million people tuned in to watch recent AGT semifinalists,” Vaught said. “This is the kind of publicity that other cities only dream of.”

Barbara Ryan, co-founder and vice chair of the film alliance, said the decision for the show to film in St. Marys was the result of reaching out to potential filmmakers and TV shows.

“We have a very aggressive marketing campaign across the country,” she said. “There is not a day that goes by where we don’t talk with someone or email information about the film alliance.”

In a prepared statement, the show’s host, Nick Cannon, said it’s exciting to see contestants evolve and reach their goals.

“You meet someone who comes to an audition, and a few months later, they’re performing for millions,” he said “It’s truly rewarding to watch the process.”

More from this section