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Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will not take place on Opening Day

Findlay Market moves parade to April 2, before game 4 of the 2018 season (WKRC file)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - In a rare move, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will not take place on Opening Day. The parade will take place on April 2, during the Reds fourth game.

Findlay Market officials say scheduling changes made by Major League Baseball moved the start of the season up by a week. Opening Day will be Thursday, March 29 instead of a Monday.

Why did the Findlay Market Association, which has run the parade for 98 years, make the change?

It's pretty simple. The Findlay Market Association is a group of business owners. Moving the Reds opener to March 29th puts it on the Thursday before Easter, one of the busiest days for the market.

They have to close and block off the streets on parade day. They're already closed on Easter, so if they closed Thursday, too they'd lose 33% of their business that week.

They decided not to do that.

The parade is the unofficial kickoff to spring and a day when every Cincinnatian is a kid.

If the “Opening Day Parade” isn't on “Opening Day” … it's still the Opening Day Parade… right?

Parade organizers say it was a tough decision.

“So we're going to hope that we can rekindle the Opening Day atmosphere four days later and also be able to take care of our customers down here at Findlay Market. Let everybody have a great Easter and come out that Monday ready to support the city of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Reds and Findlay Market,” said Neil Luken, the Parade Chairman.

It's not the first time the parade has fallen on a day other than Opening Day. The World Series Champion 1990 team opened on the road and enjoyed a parade before Game 7 that season. But it was the home opener.

The market knows not everyone is on board but hopes they get over it.

"I'm alright with it. I could see how some diehard loyal fans might be upset with the change but it's still a week day so it should be alright. I think we'll manage,” said Zak Hoffman of Mariemont.


But it was really no trouble finding that diehard fan.

"That's ridiculous. Everybody comes to go to the parade and go to the game,” said Carolyn Schlotman of Florence.

Despite the changes. It will still be called the “Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.”

"There's really not a good solution to our problem. It's kind of funny to have the Opening Day Parade on the fourth day of the years. I'm not going to sit here and say we can get by with that, but this is the best solution that worked out for the parties down here,” said Neil Luken, the Parade Chairman.

The 1994 Reds opened on Easter night, but owner Marge Schott said she didn't want an Easter Opening Day Parade so it was delayed until Monday.

There is a precedent. It's not the end of the world. No matter when it is, you can bet the parade will still be a lot of fun.

The Findlay Market Association is hoping to build momentum for 2019, which will be the 100th anniversary of the parade, and the 150th year of the Reds.

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