The below information is not accurate for 2020. 

Kids playing cornhole during Reds Opening Day Celebration at Washington Park (photo: Lowry Photo)
Reds Opening Day at Washington Park (photo: Lowry Photo)
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' season by attending the annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. Read on for parade-viewing tips, parties, parking information and more.

Findlay Market Opening Day Parade - not being held in 2020

Marching band at Findlay Market Opening Day Parade (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
Findlay Market Opening Day Parade (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade steps off from Findlay Market at noon and lasts about two 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. NOT BEING HELD IN 2020
Viewing options:
  • Fountain Square is a hoppin' hot spot during the parade with drinks, 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 10am-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.

Celebrate at these local parties - NOT OCCURING IN 2020

Opening Day Celebration at Washington Park
Opening Day Celebration at Washington Park

  • The Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party takes over The Banks from 11am to 4pm.
  • Head to BB Riverboats' new event center for a live broadcast of the Bob and Tom Show that airs from 6am to 10am. (Event is free, but you will need a ticket.) After the broadcoast, stay for an Opening Day Party with live music, cash bar and food available for purchase from 11am to 2:30pm. Admission is free! BB Riverboats will also have a $5 shuttle available to take Reds Fans across the river every 30 minutes starting at 10:30am til 4:30pm. Tickets can be pre-purchased online, or before boarding. 
  • Reds Opening Day at Queen City Exchange features red beer in honor of our Cincinnati Reds baseball team.
  • Get to Igby's for their special Opening Day Party with drink specials, a DJ, and they will have a grill cooking up ballpark favorites while you enjoy the game.
  • 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.

If you've got younger Reds fans, be sure to check out Kids Opening Day. The day begins with a free block party at The Banks!

Parking & Transportation

Southbank Shuttle
Southbank Shuttle
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 8 am to allow for parade lineup.
  • Around 11 am, parade route streets and some nearby intersections and blocks will be closed to automobile traffic. 
  • Streets will reopen after the parade.
Parking – find parking options throughout Downtown here
  • If you want to park south of 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 west 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
Public Transportation
  • 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.
  • Hop on the BB Riverboats' shuttle for a $5 ride to the Cincinnati riverfront (and back) to catch the game. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time or upon boarding and run every 30 minutes from 10:30am - 4:30pm.
  • The Cincinnati Bell Connector (streetcar) will be closed during setup and throughout the parade on Opening Day. It will begin operation no later than 4 pm. Check their website for complete details. 

Updated by Abby Davidson