Another Reds Opening Day Parade Overview


The 2015 Reds Opening Day Parade is Monday, April 6th at Noon

We love the Reds Opening Day Parade. It’s become an annual tradition for our family. As long as the weather is nice on Monday, I’m pulling my kids out of school to head downtown. The parade starts at noon so we make sure we are downtown between 10:30-11:00 AM.

Where to Park and View the Parade with Kids

An easy place to park is the CET parking lot near Music Hall. I believe it was $5 to park for the special event. Last year was the first year that Washington Park had a big Opening Day Celebration as well. It definitely had pros and cons. Pro? There were so many more food and beverage options available if you didn’t want to pack snacks/lunch. We packed food for the kids, but most of the adults grabbed lunch from Washington Park. Cons? The bathrooms were a bit more crowded and there seemed to be way more kids around. The biggest “aha moment”? It’s hard to spot your own kids within a sea of kids dressed in Reds gear. So you might want to put a fluorescent t-shirt on them until the parade starts!

What to Bring

Last year we did spend some time at Washington Park and 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 some fold-up chairs. This year I will bring the wagon again to haul lunch, drinks, blankets, chairs, coats, etc. Plus it helps save your spot on the sidewalk. Hats and sunscreen are a must for sunny days. Umbrellas and ponchos if there is a chance of rain. We didn’t bring anything to keep the kids busy last year. There was a large enough group of them to keep each other entertained before the parade actually started.


The parade itself is very entertaining. There are a lot of things to view from your favorite mascots to marching bands to horse-drawn wagons. And the parade was about 2 hours long if I remember correctly and the time-stamps on my photos are correct!



You never know just what or WHO you are going to see. My kids were super excited to see their Papa (my dad) walk in the parade the past couple of years.


But they also loved getting high-fives from the Chick-fil-A cows and seeing some of their favorite local mascots like Xavier’s Blue Blob and the Ron’s Roost Chicken Car.



But, of course, the main thrill of the day is always seeing the Reds mascots like Rosie Red! No better way to kick-off the Reds season and get into the spirit of baseball.


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, but have heard there are other great gathering spaces like the Fountain Square area.

Do you attend the Opening Day Parade?

What are other tips for those going?

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