By: Madeline Ottilie
CINCINNATI — One of Cincinnati’s biggest traditions returns Tuesday. The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will be held for the first time since 2019.
It begins at Findlay Market at noon. The route runs down Race St. and turns onto Fifth St. Downtown.
Many of those involved have been part of the parade for decades.
“We always lead the parade,” said Kerry Holthaus, Vice President of Operations at Holthaus Lackner Signs. “We have a Findlay Market sign on it, so everybody knows it’s the Findlay Market Parade coming and it’s a lot of fun.”
Holthaus said the company has had a float in the parade for nearly 100 years.
“All of our grandkids, nieces and nephews, my mom’s still there,” he said. “She’s 98. She loves riding on it still.”
The company has produced several signs inside Great American Ballpark and is behind the iconic red letters on the outside of the stadium.
140 different local organizations will head down the parade route. Many, like the Flying Pig Marathon, are Cincinnati staples themselves.
“Our local Tracy Walker always performs on our float,” said Pig Works President & CEO Iris Simpson Bush. “Two of the crowd favorites are of course Take Me Out To The Ballpark and Get Jiggy With The Piggy.“
This is the 20th year that the marathon has had a float in the parade. The marathon is just a few weeks away and Bush hopes the float will remind people that registration is still open.
“We’ve always tried to make ourselves a part of the greater community,” she said. “I think participation in the Opening Day Parade has been a big part of that.”
Many participating this year are excited to get back the parade back in action, after it was canceled due to the pandemic in past years.
“One of the things that came out of the pandemic was a deeper appreciation for so many things that we’ve always loved,” Bush said. “You didn’t know you were taking it for granted.”
To Holthaus, the parade is a symbol of what the city’s all about.
“We are a tight-knit city,” he said. “We love our Reds. We love Findlay Market. We love Over-the-Rhine. I mean, we love everything about this city and there’s a lot of pride here in this city.”
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.