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Cincinnati welcomes back the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade

 A group of school children enjoy the 2022 Findlay Market Opening Day Parade near Washington Park. They wave small red flags with the Cincinnati Reds logo on it.
Jolene Almendarez
A group of school children enjoy the 2022 Findlay Market Opening Day Parade near Washington Park.

Even two hours before the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade stepped off in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnatians were lining the streets in anticipation of something they hadn’t experienced since 2019.

The annual event — which traditionally celebrates the first game of the season for the Cincinnati Reds — was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID. Last year’s parade consisted of a police car, a fire truck, EMS and the Findlay Market float with few spectators.

So, Tuesday’s event seemed to have an extra level of excitement, even though April 12 wasn't technicallyopening day for the MLB season.

A group of teenage boys wondered about seeing Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in the parade — he wasn’t — but Burrow did throw out the first pitch at Great American Ball Park later that day.

Some fans were decked out in both Bengals and Reds gear.

Brent Cole stood with some friends outside a bar near Washington Park. “I think it’s a fantastic environment coming off the Bengals season and hopefully the Reds can build some momentum behind it," he said.

Fifteen-year-old Imanuel Cody was excited to talk as he found his place along the parade route. “I like to see all of our African Americans enjoying ourselves and having fun. We are all collabing together.”

The dancers were what 12-year-old Jae'Asia Mack was looking forward to seeing. She came with her grandmother. “I never had heard of Opening Day," she said. "But I thought it would be fun because I’ve been in a parade before.”

Dancers, marching bands and horses were hits with parade-goers. Twelve-year-old Liam Martin came for a different reason. “I want to come to the parade because I think it’s going to be fun, and there’s a bunch of food trucks and I’m hungry.”

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.