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What you can expect to see at this year's Findlay Market Opening Day Parade (plus the roads to avoid)

Tana Weingartner
The Opening Day Parade in 2018.

This story was originally published March 28, 2023.

An estimated 200,000 people are expected to line the parade route for Thursday’s Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — if the weather is good, clarifies organizer Debbie Knueven Gannaway. (As of Tuesday, the forecast looks great.)

And since the parade will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people (in-person and on TV) Gannaway says the organizing committee "got rid of a lot of stuff that wasn't that exciting. We asked people to step up their game and many of them did."

She's looking forward to a float commemorating Pete Rose.

The number of entries has been reduced to under 160. Last year there were over 200 taking part.

Bands, bands and more bands

Gannaway is thrilled there are 18 high school marching bands — including one from West Virginia — plus four college bands.

One of the college bands is Wilberforce, as WVXU’s Tana Weingartner reported in this story.

RELATED: Wilberforce to release the 'Hounds of Sound' at Opening Day Parade

Yes, the Cincinnati Reds will be the main focus of this year’s Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, but plenty of other Cincinnati athletes are taking part.

Reds, Bengals, UC Basketball alumni floats

Parade-goers will see a Cincinnati Reds Alumni Float featuring George Foster, Doug Flynn, Ron Oester and Scott Williamson.

A Bengals Super Bowl Alumni Float will have Ken Anderson, Dave Lapham, Louis Breeden, Tom Dinkel, James Brooks, David Fulcher, Joe Kelly and Kevin Walker.

Tana Weingartner
Attendees of 2018's Opening Day Parade.

Doug Pelfrey, Jim Breech and Shane Graham will ride on a Bengals punters and kickers float.

There will also be entries featuring former UC Basketball players, mixed martial arts wrestlers and FC Cincinnati players.

Gannaway says all the sports entries are thanks to the popularity of last year's Olympians Float.

Former Reds pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Danny Graves will serve as Grand Marshals.

Organizer Gannaway says despite the Reds poor showing last year (62-100) it won’t dampen the excitement this Opening Day.

RELATED: Should Reds fans have any hope after last season?

"Let's start with hope springs eternal," she says. "So Opening Day is always a clean slate and let's go Reds!"

The parade steps off at noon at Liberty and Race, travels down Race and across Fifth Street.

Thursday's road closures

Here are the road closures beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday:

  • Race Street closed between Liberty Street and McMicken Street
  • Elm Street closed between Liberty Street and McMicken Street
  • Findlay Street closed between Central Parkway and Vine Street

Beginning at 11:15 a.m., the following cross streets will be closed in advance of the parade:

  • Liberty Street closed between Vine Street and Central Parkway
  • Central Parkway closed between Vine Street and Elm Street
  • Race Street closed between Liberty Street and Fourth Street
  • Fifth Street closed between Elm Street and Sentinel Street

All parking within the closed areas will be restricted. Motorists are reminded to pay attention to any special parking restrictions and remove their vehicles to avoid being towed.

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