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Findlay Market Parade Chair: 'People Are Building Outlandish Floats This Year'

Ann Thompson
Findlay Market and the Reds looking ahead to the 100th parade and the 150th anniversary of professional baseball. From left: Reds President Phil Castellini, Parade Chair Neil Luken, mascots, and former radio personality Jim Scott.

With two significant baseball anniversaries in Cincinnati this year, Findlay Market Parade organizers say there has been a huge demand to be part of the Opening Day parade and those selected are going all out.

During a Friday news conference, Parade Chairman Neil Luken said, "People are building outlandish floats; spending all kinds of money; giving time, resources. You know we can't accept everybody in the parade because if we did the parade would go on four-and-a-half, five hours."

The parade on March 28 will be the 100th for Findlay Market. This is the 150th anniversary for professional baseball, which started in Cincinnati.

Here are the highlights for the parade, according to Luken.

  • Reds float displaying all the throwback uniforms on an 18-wheeler
  • Disney Dumbo float
  • 18 local bands
  • Monster Truck
  • Replica of U.S.S. Cincinnati

"If you are 2 years old or 102 years old there's something for everyone," Luken says. And, "You don't have to wait all day to see something." He says entertainment will be continuously flowing.
The parade will start at noon. The Reds game begins at 4:10. Reds President Phil Castellini says there is a season-long celebration for the 150th anniversary. "You can't tell 150 years of history in one day, or one homestand, or even one month, so we're really going to do that all season long," he says. 

For Opening Day, former Red Eric Davis will throw out the first pitch to Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench. Joe Morgan will be the team captain and Bronson Arroyo will deliver the game ball.