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Findlay Market Opening Day Parade offers hands-on Queen City history lesson

Posted at 10:02 AM, Apr 03, 2019

MOUNT CARMEL, Ohio — Opening Day in Greater Cincinnati is about more than baseball.

It's about more than the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, which on Thursday will herald the beginning of the 100th season for the Cincinnati Reds in the Queen City.

As students at one local school know, Opening Day can teach people something about where they live.

"We love cherishing the history of Cincinnati, our city," said Kelsey Motz, a fourth grade teacher at St. Veronica School in Mount Carmel.

Ten years ago the school started using the Opening Day Parade as a hands-on civics lesson for its fourth-graders, whose class curriculum includes studying Ohio history.

"Each year they research a famous Cincinnati person or establishment, right a report and deliver a speech to the class," Motz said. "My favorite part is they also make these wonderful costumes and then the icing on the cake is getting to march in the parade."

The school added a twist to this year's annual fourth-grade class project.

"Since its the 100th year of the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, we've decided our theme to be 'Cincinnati's Best: A Hundred Years Strong,'" Motz said. "So, all of the topics the students have to research have to be 100 years or older."

She added this year's group about 50 St. Veronica fourth graders marching in Thursday's parade from Race Street in Over-the-Rhine south to Fifth Street, Downtown include many Cincinnati icons that, like the Reds, have withstood the test of time.

Family history inspired fourth-grader Andrew Dochterman's project.

"My dad, my grandpa, my great-grandpa and my great-great-grandpa worked at Cincinnati Milacron," Dochterman said.

He's going to the parade dressed in the sturdy denim overhauls, leather glovers and hat of someone who worked for the milling machine company established in 1889.

Jacob Liter let his sweet tooth lead him to research and dress as an Aglamesis Brothers Ice Cream parlor clerk for the parade.

"I really love ice cream," Liter said. "It's one of my favorite sweet treats."

The fourth grader learned that when the Aglamesis opened their Norwood shop in 1908, they called it the Metropolitan.

Liter also visited the Aglamesis' Oakley parlor that's remained opened since 1913.

"My mom grew up there, going to that one," he said.

Other iconic Queen City people and businesses represented this year by St. Veronica students in the parade include Coney Island Amusement Park, former First Lady Helen Herron Taft, Music Hall and Annie Oakley.

Motz handed out one final assignment related to St. Veronica's fourth-grade class assignment before Opening Day. It was geared to the thousands of people expected to line the parade route on Thursday.

"Make sure you look for them and wave at them and cheer," she said.