CINCINNATI -- While there's no parade to accompany the Reds' first game of the 2018 Major League Baseball season -- that comes the following Monday -- there still will be plenty to do in the hours leading up to the 4:10 p.m. game at Great American Ball Park.
Multiple block parties will kick off the season's first series against the Washington Nationals, with events planned for The Banks, Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and across the river in Covington.
As fans should expect during the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, Thursday's influx of crowds around the ballpark will preview the increased traffic, some street closures and the stiff demand for parking the Reds' opener always promises.
Here's a guide to getting around in the hours leading up to Thursday's game. To zoom in on the map, use the +/- buttons in the bottom left corner. Hover over or tap an item on the map for more details. Further description is below the map.
Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party
The Banks, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The day's biggest event might be right outside Great American Ball Park's gates, on Freedom Way, Joe Nuxhall Drive and Marian Spencer Way, for the Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party.
All three of these streets will close Thursday morning as crews set up, with entertainment scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. The block party will end at 4 p.m., with the streets re-opening after crews tear down booths and stages.
Basically, if you're trying to drive into Downtown from Covington, you'll want to avoid The Banks -- which you may already have to do, if the Roebling Suspension Bridge is still closed.
Nearby parking is available under Great American Ball Park or at the surface parking lots surrounding Paul Brown Stadium.
Opening Day Celebration
Fountain Square, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fountain Square will fill up Thursday as fans enjoy activities, food and drink at the heart of Downtown.
Fifth and Vine streets will remain open for the festivities, and parking is available under the square, accessible from Vine and Walnut streets. The Fountain Square South Garage is also nearby, farther south on Vine Street.
Expect parking in the Fountain Square garages to fill up quickly.
Taft's Season Opener Weekend
Washington Park, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Mar. 29 - Apr. 1
Fans will flood Washington Park in a weekend-long event celebrating the Reds' first game of the season.
Like at Fountain Square, do not expect any road closures along Elm, Race, or 12th streets, but -- also like at the Square -- expect parking in the garage to go quickly.
Opening Day in the Cov Street Party
Court Street, Covington, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
A beer garden, food booths and a stage will shut down Court Street in Covington's Licking Riverside district -- commonly referred to as Roebling Point -- for most of Thursday.
There are multiple parking options within walking distance, including a parking garage and surface lot at the Covington Transit Center just a block away, at Second Street and Madison Avenue. There is also a public parking garage located at Scott and Fifth streets.
Those attending the Cov Street Party and have tickets to the game should be aware they will not be able to walk across the Roebling Suspension Bridge. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the pedestrian paths will be closed that day due to anticipated increase in traffic while crews work to assess damage from a crash on Wednesday, March 21.