Let me begin by saying that before I moved here, I never thought that Opening Day was that big of a deal, but of course, this is Cincy. So after living here for over three years, and adopting and falling in love with the Reds and everything Cincinnati, I decided to attend this year’s festivities. Taking a vacation day off (yes, I had to say that), my son Jamie and I drove to downtown and took on our first ever Opening Day Parade here in Cincinnati.
I will sum it up like this: it will go down as something we will talk about for years to come! We got to downtown early, parked in one of the garages close to the ballpark, and hiked it up to Findlay Market. After checking out all the floats, cars, and even horses, we began to head downtown to look for a spot in which to see the parade. It was at that point that we came up with an even better idea: we decided to be in the parade. After all, we reasoned, what better way to see the parade than to be in the parade!
Looking around for some unknowing legitimate parade participants that we hoped to leech on to, my nervous son and I found a group that was dressed similar to us and began to blend in with their group. We smiled and talked to each other and just kind of waited around in our place in line (toward the front of the parade). After about twenty minutes of waiting, the parade began and we were on our way.
I wish I could tell you that we didn’t stick out from the group, but nothing was further from the truth. You see, I decided that if I was going to be in the parade, I would really be in the parade! I hooped and hollered, I clapped my hands, I danced, I led cheers from the parade watchers, and I slapped high fives with adults and kids alike. We walked the entire parade route and we started to head for the game, but was stopped by one of the participants from the group that we had walked with. She asked who we were and when we hesitated, responded with a wry smile, “you totally crashed our parade, didn’t you?” As we all laughed, she invited us back for the next year, so we look forward to our next Opening Day! GO REDS!