CINCINNATI -- In a new twist on a storied tradition, borne out of necessity, the 99th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will not be held on Opening Day 2018.
With the Major League Baseball schedule moved up by one week next season, Opening Day is March 29 against the Nationals. The Findlay Market Parade will be held April 2, ahead of the fourth game of the season vs. the Cubs.
The opening week of the 2018 season coincides with the Easter holidays, one of the market's busiest times of the year. To operate the parade, Findlay Market needs to be closed for the day. According to a statement by Findlay Market, the merchants voted to keep the parade on Monday, per the annual tradition.
"I love the excitement that the Opening Day Parade brings to the city each year," said Neil Luken, chairman of the parade committee, in a statement. "However, we had to consider the small, independent businesses that make up Findlay Market and the loyal shoppers who rely on the market being open for their family gatherings. We have made our best effort to reconcile the 2018 schedule with the needs of shoppers, business owners and baseball lovers."
The April 2 game time will be 4:10 p.m. ET, following the parade.
"No question that the Findlay Market Parade is a huge part of what makes the start of the baseball season a celebration. We understand the dilemma faced by the Merchants, and respect the decision made by them and the Parade Committee to hold the parade on Monday," said Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini. "We will embrace the Parade with the same enthusiasm we do every year, and make sure the game on April 2nd has some special festivities at the ballpark to round out the day."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.