The 2018 Reds Opening Day Parade won’t take place on opening day.
The parade will take place on Monday, April 2, four days after the Reds open the season vs. the Washington Nationals on Thursday, March 29.
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Merchants of the market voted to keep the 99th annual parade on a Monday, as it typically falls. Closing Findlay Market on a Thursday would impact customers and businesses leading up to the Easter holiday, according to a news release.
“I love the excitement that the Opening Day Parade brings to the city each year,” Neil Luken, chairman of the parade committee and owner of Neil Luken Meats said. “However, we had to consider the small-independent businesses that make up Findlay Market and the loyal shoppers who rely on the market being open for their family gatherings. We have made our best effort to reconcile the 2018 schedule with the needs of shoppers, business owners and baseball lovers.”
The game vs. the Nationals will be the earliest Opening Day in Reds history.
“No question that the Findlay Market Parade is a huge part of what makes the start of the baseball season a celebration. We understand the dilemma faced by the Merchants, and respect the decision made by them and the Parade Committee to hold the parade on Monday,” said Phil Castellini, Chief Operating Officer of the Cincinnati Reds. “We will embrace the Parade with the same enthusiasm we do every year, and make sure the game on April 2nd has some special festivities at the ballpark to round out the day.”