Reds Opening Day: Brace yourself for two days of parties, celebrations

Posted: 7:00 AM, Mar 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-29 15:39:56Z

UPDATE: The Cincinnati Reds have postponed Opening Day to Friday due to bad weather. Click on event links for the most up-to-date information. We will update each event once new details are available.

CINCINNATI -- This year the Queen City will celebrate the return of baseball with a doubleheader of fun.

Festivities are scheduled for Friday before the Reds play the Washington Nationals at 4:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park. The Queen City will rock again on Monday before the 99th annual Findlay Market Parade begins at noon on Race Street near the market.

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Organizers decided to hold the parade on April 2 because the week before Easter Sunday is one of the busiest for Findlay Market merchants, according to parade committee chairman Neil Luken. The Reds will play the Chicago Cubs at the ballpark at 4:10 p.m. April 2.

To make sure you don't miss any fun either day, here's a guide to community events and parties.

Fountain Square Opening Day Celebration

Details: Enjoy food from Quite Frankly, Slice Slice Baby and SugarSnap. The Borderline Something band will play live music from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. The Cincinnati Reds Opening Day game against the Washington Nationals will be shown on the square's giant LED board starting with the first pitch at 4:10 p.m. Friday.

When: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. March 30
Where: Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown

Opening Day Street Party in the Cov

Details: Join Nash FM and Budweiser at Smoke Justis for an Opening Day street party on Friday. Amanda Orlando will broadcast live with Nash morning show hosts, followed by live music from the Derek Allen Band and the Tyler Moore Band throughout the day. Someone also will win a pair of tickets to the Reds Opening Day game, gift cards and a pair of tickets to see the Zac Brown Band at Great American Ball Park in August.

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. March 30
Where: 302 Court St., Covington

Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party

Details: The block party will start at 11 a.m. Friday on Joe Nuxhall Way and Freedom Way, right outside of Great American Ball Park. The party will benefit the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy and include live music, beer trucks and tents from Anheuser-Busch, LaRosa’s pizza, the Queen City Sausage grill cart, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine and Skyline Chili.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 30
Where: Joe Nuxhall Way and Freedom Way

199C: The Big 5

Details: Design firm BLDG will host its fifth annual Reds Opening Day art exhibit and block party Saturday in Covington. This year’s show will highlight “all things inspired by Reds country and the No. 5.” Food, games, drinks and baseball-themed storefront installations will take center stage at the event.

When: 6-10 p.m. March 31
Where: 30 W. Pike St., Covington

Rally on the Square

Details: Enjoy MadTree beer, music and the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade while cheering on the hometown team on Fountain Square. Reds-centric festivities will begin at 10 a.m. April 2 with live music and more festivities. The rally will benefit local nonprofit Give Back Cincinnati.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 2
Where: Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown

The Banks Block Party

Details: The Banks Block Party will kick off at 11 a.m. April 2 on Joe Nuxhall Way and Freedom Way, right outside of Great American Ball Park. The party will benefit the Kenny Anderson Alliance and include live music, food, beer and entertainment.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 2
Where: Joe Nuxhall Way and Freedom Way

Braxton Opening Day Party in The Loft

Details: Braxton will host two parties on Friday. The brewery will have its 1957 All-Star Ale on tap in both its taproom and the Loft, its new private event space. The Reds-Nationals game will be on all TVs in the taproom. For $20-$25 die-hard baseball fans can enjoy the party in the Loft, which will include ballpark snacks, baseball trivia, a Braxton baseball to-go party bag, a drink ticket and optional shuttle service to and from Great American Ball Park provided by Cincy Brew Bus.

When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. March 30
Where: 27 W. Seventh St., Covington
Loft admission: $20 or $25 with shuttle service

Opening Day at Browning's on York

Details: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning, along with his sons, will debut the changes they have made to this Newport bar on Opening Day. The Brownings spent weeks updating the former Bart's on York bar, which has a view of Great American Ball Park. Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso will hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the bar at 3:30 p.m. Tom Browning will then lead fans to the ballpark before the Reds play the Washington Nationals at 4:10 p.m.

When: 8 a.m.-2 a.m. March 30
Where: 323 York St., Newport

Opening Day at Newport Beach Patio Bar

Details: After the Reds postponed its Opening Day game to Friday, the Newport Beach Patio Bar announced it would do the same with its celebration. The bar will open at 11 a.m. Friday with $10 buckets of beer, $3 red beer, $5 Big Red Machine shots and live entertainment.

When: Doors open at 11 a.m. March 30
Where: 120 E. Third St., Newport

Opening Day at Moerlein Lager House

Details: Moerlein Lager House is a prime location for all Opening Day festivities. This year Moerlein's doors will open at 10 a.m. Friday with full food and drink services. A full lineup of Moerlein craft and guest beers will be on tap as well. Superbad, with opening act LDNL, will play a free concert on the Lager House's event lawn adjacent to the restaurant from noon until 4 p.m. Friday.

When: Begins at 10 a.m. March 30
Where: 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown

Backstage Block Party

Details: Join Downtown Cincinnati, 21c Museum Hotel, Nicholson's and Scene Cincinnati for some free Reds Opening Day fun. Grab a drink or lunch, enjoy music and giveaways and register to win "A Night Out Downtown" package from participating venues. There also will be a cornhole competition.

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. March 30
Where: Gano and Ruth Lyons alleys, Downtown

Opening Day Party at The Gruff

Details: The Gruff and Braxton Brewing Co. are welcoming Reds fans to stop in the restaurant for some pre-Opening Day game libations. The Gruff, located at the foot of the Roebling Suspension Bridge, will have Braxton's 1957 English Style Mild, an ode to Reds baseball, on tap.

When: 11 a.m-11 p.m. March 30
Where: 129 E. Second St., Covington

Opening Day + Parade at Rhinegeist

Details: Rhinegeist will celebrate the start of Cincinnati Reds baseball season with two parties. The first will be held on Friday for Opening Day and the second on April 2 for the Findlay Market Parade. Both events will kick off at 9 a.m. with DJs and an array of drinks available. Sartre OTR will provide brunch and lunch on Friday. Nada will supply the food on April 2. Craft Connection Brewery Tours will provide free shuttle rides between the brewery and Great American Ball Park from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 2. Weather permitting, Rhinegeist's rooftop bar will be open on both days, too.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 30 and April 2
Where: 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine

Opening Day and Findlay Market Parade Parties + Shuttle at MadTree

Details: MadTree Brewing will host a Reds Opening Day party on Friday and Findlay Market Parade party on April 2. Both events will have DJs, food from Catch-a-Fire Pizza and free shuttle service provided by Cincy Brew Bus from MadTree to Downtown and back.

When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. March 30; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 2
Where: 3301 Madison Road, Oakley
Information: Opening Day and Findlay Market Parade

Opening Day at the Stretch

Details: The Stretch is celebrating Reds Opening Day and the Findlay Market Parade with two special events. The bar at the Banks will open early both days and give away swag, feature DJs after both games and offer samples of Tito's Handmade Vodka.

When: 10 a.m.-close March 30 and April 2
Where: 191 E. Freedom Way, Downtown

Opening Day at Igby's

Details: Igby's will open early for both Reds Opening Day and the Findlay Market Parade. Igby's ballpark menu featuring brats and burgers will be available both days. The bar will give away a pair of Opening Day game tickets at 3 p.m. Friday.

When: Doors open at noon March 30 and April 2
Where: 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown

Opening Day at the Righteous Room

Details: The Righteous Room will open early for both Reds Opening Day and the Findlay Market Parade. The bar will have Rhinegeist Hustle and MadTree's Rounding Third on tap. Stay to watch the Reds play on TV both days and enjoy half-price happy hours from 4-8 p.m.

When: Doors open at noon March 30 and April 2
Where: 641 Walnut St., Downtown  

Findlay Market Parade Party at the Phoenix

Details: Get an unlimited ballpark buffet, beer and drink specials, music by DJ Toad and party favors on April 2. There also will be family entertainment. Guests will be able to watch the Findlay Market Parade pass by on Race Street from inside private event rooms.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 2
Where: 812 Race St., Downtown
Cost: $19.14-$30.44

Arnold's Opening Day Extravaganza

Details: Arnold's Bar & Grill is continuing its tradition of opening early for the Findlay Market Parade, despite the fact that Opening Day is on March 30. Cincinnati's longest-operating bar will serve breakfast from 9-11 a.m. April 2. Arnold's also will give away Reds memorabilia via randomly marked beer cups. Live entertainment by Todd Hepburn, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Over-the-Rhine's own Jim Tarbell will fill the bar throughout the day.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 2
Where: 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown

Red's Opening Day Parade Watch Party

Details: Revolution Rotisserie offers prime parade-watching along Race Street, with the added bonus of an outdoor patio and earlier hours than usual. The bar’s owners recommend arriving early to find parking and avoid rolling road closures before the parade begins at noon. There also will be drink specials during the parade.

When: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 2
Where: 1106 Race St., Over-the-Rhine

Taft's Season Opener

Details: Taft's Ale House will open early for the Findlay Market Parade. The first 100 people to buy a Nellie's Key Lime Caribbean Ale at Taft's will receive a free T-shirt. Hundreds of prizes will be given out throughout the day. Taft's also will sell a rare, limited bourbon bottle release starting at 8 a.m. April 2 in Nellie's tap room.

When: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. April 2
Where: 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine