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The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade returns after a 2-year COVID hiatus

All smiles for the 2018 Opening Day Parade
Tana Weingartner
All smiles for the 2018 Opening Day Parade

Findlay Market is preparing for the 102nd Opening Day Parade Tuesday, April 12 with anticipated huge crowds and new floats. Former Reds shortstop Hall of Famer Barry Larkin is Grand Marshal.

The traditional parade is back after it was cancelled in 2020 and limited to radio personality Jim Scott and a police car and fire truck in 2021 because of COVID-19.

Findlay Market’s Debbie Gannaway tells WVXU the number of entries is about 130, down from 190 because the parade committee limited it to entries that were supposed to march in 2020. There won’t be as many horses, but plenty of bands.

Chair Neil Luken says the day is about more than baseball. “It’s about Cincinnati and our roots and what this day means to us. If you are not from Cincinnati it’s hard to appreciate but once you’ve been here a few years you will understand what Opening Day is all about.”

(from left) Parade Chair Neil Luken, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, Reds COO Phil Castellini, and Radio Personality Jim Scott
Kelly Lanser
Findlay Market
(from left) Parade Chair Neil Luken, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, Reds COO Phil Castellini, and Radio Personality Jim Scott

Have Faith says Reds’ Phil Castellini

Addressing fans upset Cincinnati has traded away favorite players, Reds COO Phil Castellini asked them to “have faith.” He told reporters at a parade news conference the team is “dedicated and committed to winning for the long-term.” Castellini says Cincinnati is “rebuilding” and had to “trade assets to get assets.”

He calls this year’s team, “good and entertaining.”

The Reds say tickets are still available for the April 12 Opening Day game against the Cleveland Guardians.

New floats commemorate local Olympians and Bengals alumni

On the Olympian Float:

  • Nick Goepper - Silver & Bronze at 2018 PyeongChang; Bronze at 2014 Sochi, freestyle skiing
  • Joe Hudepohl - Gold at 1996 Atlanta; Gold & Bronze at 1992 Barcelona, swimming
  • David Payne - Silver at 2008 Bejing for 110 m hurdles
  • George Wilson - Gold at 1964 Tokyo for basketball
  • Mary Wineberg - Gold at 2008 Bejing for US Track 4 x 400 meter relay

Bengals Alumni Float:

  • Jim Breech, Super Bowl XVI & XXIII
  • Louis Breeden Super Bowl XVI
  • James Brooks, Super Bowl XXIII 4x Pro Bowl
  • Tom Dinkel, Super Bowl XVI
  • David Fulcher, Super Bowl XXIII  3x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro
  • Joe Kelly, Super Bowl XXIII
  • David Lapham, Super Bowl XXIII
  • Anthony Munoz, Super Bowl XVI & XXIII HoF, 11x Pro Bowl, 9x All Pro
  • Ickey Woods, Super Bowl XXIII 1988 NFL All-Rookie Team
Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.