About the parade and the game on different days, Reds COO Phil Castellini says, "We love 'em to be together, but if they're not going to be we'll put just as much effort behind both days."
Pre-game ceremonies include an F-16 flyover. Olympic medalist Nick Goepper is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and all attendees to Thursday's game against the Washington Nationals, kicking off at 4:10 p.m., gets a free rally towel.
Here's the schedule for the 142nd Opening Day in Cincinnati:
- 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m: Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party with food and entertainment. Joe Nuxhall Way, Freedom Way, Walnut St.
- 2:10 p.m: Gates open to Great American Ball Park
- 3:30 p.m: Pre-game ceremonies begin
- 4:10 p.m: Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals
New this year are the Budweiser BOWTIE Bar, Budweiser Balcony, Garden Bar, Clydesdale Cart and The Handlebar Terrace. There is new LED lighting and the Ballpark Express, featuring mobile order pick-up stations for food and drink, have been expanded.
The ball park also should be safer. Additional netting has been installed that extends to the end of each dugout and the existing netting behind home plate has been replaced.
New food and concessions include Frisch's Hot Fudge Cake, the Goetta Fry Box, sandwiches made with Servatii's pretzel buns and a waffle cone wrapped in cotton candy and filled with soft serve ice cream.
Thursday is business as usual at Findlay Market as merchants stay open for customers prepping for Easter dinner. The parade takes place Monday at noon.