The 2014 Reds Opening Day Parade is Monday, March 31st at Noon
Last year we decided to attend the Reds Opening Day Parade for the first time. It was during Stella’s spring break and the weather cooperated. The parade started at noon so we made sure we were downtown around 11:00 AM. An easy place to park is the CET parking lot near Music Hall. I believe it was $5 to park for the special event. We decided to walk down towards Findlay Market to see everyone getting ready. The Budweiser wagon and Clydesdale horses were a hit with the kids.
Then closer to parade time (11:20/11:30) we made our way down the street and picked a spot along the route to “set up camp”. We brought our wagon and one stroller. This year I will bring the wagon again to haul lunch, drinks, coats, etc. Plus it helps save your spot on the sidewalk.
Here’s the photo I put on Instagram last year showing our picnic lunch. I packed food for the kids and then Andy and I grabbed something at Findlay Market. This year I am excited to see that Washington Park is going to have a concession stand open with lunch options. The park is having an Opening Day Celebration starting at 11:00 AM with family-friendly activities, music and more. Another good thing about staying near the park for viewing is that you can visit the playground and restrooms are nearby!
The parade itself is very entertaining. There are a lot of things to view from your favorite mascots to bands to horse-drawn wagons. And the parade was 60-90 minutes long if I remember correctly and the time-stamps on my photos are right!
Biggest things to remember if you are going with kids: layer clothing, pack drinks and food, and locate yourself close to a restroom. There is parking under Washington Park, but there is also a chance you cannot exit during the parade. The route goes throughout downtown so there are many locations to view the parade. I like the ease of being at the Washington Park location.
This year due to the added festivities there, I think we will try to be downtown closer to 10:30. And we’ll probably just hang out at Washington Park until the parade starts and skip the set-up chaos at Findlay Market. Let me know if anyone else is going and we’ll look for you!