The city of Cincinnati and the Reds ballclub have had a special relationship with Opening Day for a very long time. For reasons that have never been sufficiently articulated to me, the Reds hosted the first game of the season, threw the first pitch of the season, for a number of years. That changed relatively recently with the advent of national telecasts of marquee match-ups on the evening before the official Opening Day, but the Reds still always open the season at home. And before that first game of the season, there is the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. It is a city-wide holiday and people get pretty hyped for it, I guess. I’ve never lived in Cincy nor been to the parade, so I don’t really get it. But anyway.
The 2018 season is going to be different, though. The Reds will open the season against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, March 29th. The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade though will be held on April 2nd, which isn’t Opening Day. It’s actually four days after Opening Day.
It seems that local Papists object to the parade being held on that Thursday because it is the Holy Thursday, or the beginning of Easter weekend, the most solemn and holy event on the Catholic calendar. I guess it would be a bit weird to be parading about baseball right alongside the Stations of the Cross. Cincinnati is a big Catholic town, so it is hard to argue much about this. The Reds have opened the season on actual Easter Sunday before, but whatever.
Also, the merchants of the market have to vacate in order for the parade to go on, and they aren’t all that willing to do so on a regular business day. On Mondays, on which the parade and actual Opening Day normally fall, the merchants open their shops only if they really want to, so it has been pretty easy to just shut it down for the parade. I don’t see why they wouldn’t do this just one day out of the year regardless of what specific day the parade is, but that’s all beside the point now.
I’m no expert on parade organizing or open-air market vendor organization, but I think having the parade on Wednesday, the day before Opening Day, would be preferable to the following Monday. The spirit of the parade is to inaugurate another wonderful season of great baseball in the river city, so it feels antithetical to have the parade, you know, after the season has begun. I don’t know what all the ins and outs and such are with this whole thing though, and I assume they probably thought of this already. I’m sure whatever reasons they have for doing it on Monday, they think they are good enough reasons.
2018 is already set up to be a really weird year for the Reds, so I suppose this parade fiasco is only complimenting that vibe. I suppose everybody deserves some points for continuity here.