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Reds: "We'll Put Just As Much Effort Into Both Days" With And Without Parade

On Opening Day, Great American Ball Park will look like this again.
Howard Wilkinson
On Opening Day, Great American Ball Park will look like this again.

Even with a delayed Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, and the game one day late because of rain, the Cincinnati Reds promise the same enthusiasm Friday as every year at the start of the season.

About the parade and the game on different days, Reds COO Phil Castellini says, "We love 'em to be together, but if they're not going to be we'll put just as much effort behind both days."

Pre-game ceremonies include an F-16 flyover. Olympic medalist Nick Goepper is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and all attendees to Thursday's game against the Washington Nationals, kicking off at 4:10 p.m., gets a free rally towel.

Here's the schedule for the 142nd Opening Day in Cincinnati:

  • 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m: Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party with food and entertainment. Joe Nuxhall Way, Freedom Way, Walnut St.
  • 2:10 p.m: Gates open to Great American Ball Park
  • 3:30 p.m: Pre-game ceremonies begin
  • 4:10 p.m: Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals

New this year are the Budweiser BOWTIE Bar, Budweiser Balcony, Garden Bar, Clydesdale Cart and The Handlebar Terrace. There is new LED lighting and the Ballpark Express, featuring mobile order pick-up stations for food and drink, have been expanded.

The ball park also should be safer. Additional netting has been installed that extends to the end of each dugout and the existing netting behind home plate has been replaced.

New food and concessions include Frisch's Hot Fudge Cake, the Goetta Fry Box, sandwiches made with Servatii's pretzel buns and a waffle cone wrapped in cotton candy and filled with soft serve ice cream.

Thursday is business as usual at Findlay Market as merchants stay open for customers prepping for Easter dinner. The parade takes place Monday at noon.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.