CINCINNATI -- Reds Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without the Findlay Market Parade and a grand marshal to lead it.
On Friday, parade organizers announced that "The Mayor of Riverfront Stadium," former Red Sean Casey, will lead the 98th Opening Day Parade. The festivities start at noon on April 3 at Findlay Market.
Neil Luken with @FindlayMarket Assoc. discussed parades history. Announces grand marshal is Sean Casey. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/YWt3BDGffn
— Brian Mains (@B_Mains_Cincy) March 17, 2017
One of the most popular players to ever wear a Reds uniform, Casey became known as “The Mayor” to fans throughout Reds Country. The first baseman hit .305 during his eight-year Reds career, which included three All-Star appearances.
Casey was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2012 and is currently an analyst for the MLB Network.
The announcement was made Friday after short speeches from Mayor John Cranley, Reds COO Phil Castellini, Parade Chairman Neil Luken and representatives from the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Toyota Dealers.
Eight lucky fans will win a pair of tickets to the Reds Opening Day game. The eight will be welcomed onto the field at Great American Ball Park with one of them winning a Toyota Tundra after a spin of the prize wheel.
Fans can register for the sweepstakes at any of the six Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Toyota dealers until March 24. One last chance to register will be at the Toyota booth at the Reds Community Fund Opening Day Charity Block Party.
The Findlay Market Parade officially began on Opening Day in 1920 as a celebration of the Reds’ 1919 World Series win over the Chicago White Sox, according to the parade's website. Early in the parade's history, a member of the Findlay Market Association was named grand marshal. As the event grew, though, so did the level of dignitaries named to lead it.
For the past 26 years former Reds players and managers, Bengals and local celebrities have been named grand marshal. Lou Piniella, the former Cincinnati Reds manager who led the team to a 1990 World Series sweep, served as the 2016 grand marshal.
See a photo gallery of Findlay Market Opening Day Parade grand marshals from the past 26 years by tapping on the image below.