CINCINNATI – Hometown kid and Cincinnati Reds legend Barry Larkin will serve as grand marshal of the 2022 Findlay Market Opening Day Parade.

What You Need To Know

  • Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin will serve as the grand marshal of the 102 Findlay Market Opening Day Parade

  • The parade on April 12 is the first full Opening Day parade since 2019

  • The parade will include dozens of floats, athletes, celebrities, marching bands and local organizations

  • Tickets to the 4:10 p.m. game against the Cleveland Guardians remain available

Larkin, a Hall of Fame shortstop and current Reds broadcaster, is the centerpiece of this year’s parade. But he’ll be far from alone; a typical Opening Day Parade features about 175 parade slots consisting of performers, politicians, local celebrities and nonprofit organizations – all of which have parade-worthy floats, props and banners.

The 102nd Findlay Market Opening Day Parade is set for April 12 in Over-the-Rhine and downtown Cincinnati.

Kendra Sinkfield and her daughter, Gabriella Reddick (Casey Weldon/Spectrum News 1)

“I am truly honored to be selected as the grand marshal of this year’s Findlay Market Opening Day Parade,” Larkin said in a release. “As someone born and raised in Cincinnati, I know what a major role the parade plays in making Opening Day such a special experience here in our city. I look forward to being part of renewing that tradition with Reds fans this year.” 

The grand marshal announcement took place Wednesday at Findlay Market, the annual starting point of the parade since 1920. Those who spoke were Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, Reds President and Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini, and Neil Luken, who chairs the parade committee.

As he does every year, local media personality Jim Scott, the official parade spokesperson, served as emcee.

Jim Scott and Olympian George Wilson (Casey Weldon/Spectrum News 1)

“Findlay Market and the Cincinnati Reds are two of Cincinnati’s oldest, proudest and most beloved institutions,” said Pureval. He feels those two community “cornerstones” help make the Queen City “such a special place.”

This will be the first full Findlay Market Opening Day Parade since 2019. Organizers canceled the event in 2020 during COVID-19. They hosted a parade in 2021, but because of logistics challenges related to the ongoing pandemic, it featured only a few vehicles and a handful of people.

Pureval said he’s honored to be mayor for the return of this “special event.” He called the parade an important opportunity to bring people together from across the region to mark an unofficial Cincinnati holiday.

“I hear all the time from people out in the community that they remember their grandparents taking them to the parade; they’re excited to bring their kids to the parade,” he added. “The parade is part of a line that connects us all Cincinnatians, no matter what you look like or what neighborhood you call home.”

The Opening Day Parade is an important part of festivities surrounding the Reds’ home opener. It kicks off a day of eating, drinking and baseball.

The parade will start at noon. People will line up hours before, however, and will linger around Over-the-Rhine and downtown long after the final out of the game is called.

“It’s always a very nice time and a great environment,” said Kendra Sinkfield, 41, a former Cincinnati Reds cheerleader. The Cincinnati Public Schools teacher spent Wednesday afternoon with her daughter, Gabriella Reddick, 13, at Findlay Market.

“The parade is a lot of fun. It brings a lot of fans and families together, and it just adds a lot of positivity for the city,” Sinkfield said.

The game against the Cleveland Guardians will begin at 4:10 p.m. But there will be a day of events in and around Great American Ball Park at The Banks, Castellini said.

Tickets to Opening Day are still available, which is rare in Cincinnati. Castellini attributed the fact it’s not yet sold to schedule changes and “uncertainty” caused by the MLB lockout this winter.

The Reds COO also defended roster moves made by the franchise during the offseason. Some fans now doubt the Castellini family’s commitment to winning after the franchise traded away several popular players and failed to re-sign others.

“We have never been more proud and more dedicated to being stewards of what we believe to be one of the community related assets that there are,” Castellini said. “The Cincinnati Reds belong to the fans, belong to the fans of Reds Country… We are dedicated to this team, we are committed to winning, and we’re in it for the long haul.”

Larkin won’t be the only local sports great in the parade. Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman and Cincinnati Bengals legend Anthony Muñoz will make return trips to the parade as well.

Some of Muñoz’s former teammates will take part as well to honor the franchise’s third Super Bowl appearance. That includes the likes of Ickey Woods, James Brooks, David Fulcher and Dave Lapham.

It’s not yet clear if Bengals or representatives of this year’s team will make an appearance.

Other floats will include greater Cincinnati Olympians such as three-time Winter Olympian Nick Goepper (freestyle skiing) and Mary Wineberg, who took home gold in the 4x400-meter relay at the 2008 games in Beijing. The event will also honor former University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Royals standout George Wilson, who won a team gold in basketball at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. 

Also appearing will be the Hamilton West Side (Little League) All-Stars and the Taft High School boys’ basketball team, which recently won a Division III state championship. Greater Cincinnati native and reigning Miss Ohio USA, Nicole Wess will attend as well.

Miss Ohio (Casey Weldon/Spectrum News 1)

Fan favorites, such as local high school marching bands, dance teams and civic groups, will round out the parades field. 

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