CINCINNATI, Ohio - Findlay Market was filled with customers Thursday, and merchants were happy with their decision to move the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade from the Reds’ scheduled opener to Monday.
"Thursday is a busy day and this is not a typical Thursday. This is the Thursday before Easter, so it's a little more crowded," said Debbie Knueven Gannaway of Gramma Debbie's Kitchen.
It was easy to see why the Findlay Market Merchants Association postponed the parade to the day after Easter. This is one of the market's busiest weekends of the year, Gannaway said.
“There are people that literally only come to Findlay Market for Easter," she said.
Holding the parade Thursday would have required the market to close and cost shop owners a lot of lost business. And as it turned out, the rain-filled forecast prompted the Reds to postpone the game until Friday.
Neil Luken has a meat stand where he makes sausage by hand. He practically grew up at the Findlay Market.
"I started working for my brother when I was 13 years old," said Luken, who doubles as parade chairman.
Luken said it simply would have been too much of a burden on merchants and customers alike to close on Thursday.
"The thing is trying to get everything prepared and get everything ready for Friday and Saturday,” Luken said.
They also don't want to disrupt the Findlay Market experience for customers.
"Everybody should come to Findlay Market one time. It's not for everybody, but I think the majority of people that come here one time will enjoy their experience and come back," Luken said.
The 99th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade begins at noon Monday, leading up to the Reds-Cubs game at 4:10 p.m.
The parade will follow the traditional route from Findlay Market on Race Street south to Fifth Street, then east past Fountain Square to Sycamore (Taft Theater).
Grand marshals are former Reds pitchers Danny Graves and Sam LeCure.
You can watch live parade coverage on WCPO 9 On Your Side from noon until 2 p.m. We will also stream the parade on the WCPO Facebook page.