Everything you need to know to enjoy this annual Cincinnati tradition that kicks off the Reds baseball season.
Opening Day Celebration, Washington Park
Reds Opening Day in Cincinnati has been a special tradition, and an unofficial holiday, for a century and a half. Since the late 19th century, the Reds have been the only Major League baseball team given the privilege of starting every season at home, so it’s no wonder that Cincinnati Reds Opening Day is a not-to-be-missed annual celebration! Kick off the Reds' 150th anniversary season by attending the 100th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade on Thursday, March 28, 2019. Read on for parade-viewing tips, parties, parking information and more.
Findlay Market Opening Day Parade
The parade steps off from Findlay Market at noon on Thursday, March 28 and lasts about 2 hours. The parade travels south from the market on Race Street for about 10 blocks then heads east on Fifth Street for about 5 blocks. Click here
for the route map.
- Fountain Square is a hoppin' hot spot during the parade thanks to MadTree Opening Day at the Square supporting Giveback Cincinnati featuring MadTree beer, food, entertainment and more. To get a good parade-viewing spot, you’ll need to arrive in the morning hours. Same goes for the block just east and west of the Square. This is the area to enjoy the parade and festivities with thousands of your closest friends.
- Head to Washington Park for a family-friendly community party where you can catch the parade early along its route. Bring some lawn chairs and set them up nearby along Race St. for a front row seat. The event in the park runs from 11am-4pm and offers games and other activities, live music, cold beverages, and delicious food.
- If you’re just in it to see the parade, set up your chairs along Race Street between Central Parkway and 6th Street or east of Fountain Square along Fifth Street near the end of the route. In either of these areas, you’re much more likely to snag a front row spot on the sidewalk.
- New this year, you can catch the start of the parade at the Findlay Market biergarten while enjoying local beer from 3 Points Urban Brewery. Grab some pierogis at Market Wines to pair with your beverage.
Celebrate at these local parties
Opening Day Celebration at Washington Park
- Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party – this celebration takes place at The Banks just outside the Reds ballpark and runs from 11am-4pm. Food and beverages are available plus there’s an all-day lineup of entertainment.
- Located adjacent to the ballpark, Moerlein Lager House will host a party on the Schmidlapp Event Lawn with a party tent, DJ, beers, and food from 11am-4:30pm.
- Just across the river, enjoy the day-long Opening Day in the Cov Street Party located on the city streets just outside of Smoke Justis.
- Start your day at the party hosted at the new Sam Adams Taproom near Findlay Market. They'll be serving coffee, breakfast, and of course, beer starting at 9am, and the party continues until late in the evening.
- Or head to JACK Cincinnati Casino for a live broadcast of the Bob and Tom Show that airs from 5:30am-10am.
- The partying continues around the region at places like Rhinegeist Brewery, AC Hotel Upper Deck, Top of the Park, Arnold's, The Righteous Room, Sonder Brewing, and more.
Parking & Transportation
With thousands of people converging in downtown for the parade and the game, finding parking can seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips to help ease the process.
Street Closures - Many streets around the parade route will close, so plan your route and arrival time accordingly.
- Streets surrounding Findlay Market will close at 8am on Thursday, March 28 to allow for parade lineup.
- Around 11am, parade route streets and some nearby intersections and blocks will be closed to automobile traffic.
- Streets will reopen after the parade.
– find parking options throughout Downtown here
- If you want to park below or near Fountain Square – get there early!
- If you’re headed to Washington Park or the nearby blocks, try some of the lots along Central Parkway like the garage behind Music Hall at 1251 Central Parkway. There is a garage below the park, so if you arrive early enough you may get a spot.
- For viewing the route along Race Street, try some of the lots just east of Race along Elm St., Plum St. or Central Ave.
- To park in Northern Kentucky and walk or shuttle across the river, read about options “South of the Ohio River” in this article.
- Cincinnati’s bus system, Metro, will provide regular service but some downtown stops may be altered slightly due to the parade route.
- If you park in Covington or Newport, you can take the Southbank Shuttle across the river for just $1 to enjoy the day’s fun. The route will be restricted slightly due to the parade route, but it will drop you off nearby.
- The Cincinnati Bell Connector (streetcar) will be closed during setup and through the parade on Opening Day. It will begin operation no later than 4pm. Check their website for complete details.