On a Legendary Parade

The Findlay Market Parade may not have the opulence and national recognition of Pasadena’s Rose Parade or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, but it meets their tradition on a local scale.


Findlay Market (in its own right) is a Cincinnati institution. In earlier times, the city had many markets, but Findlay Market is the sole survivor and now listed as a National Historic Landmark. Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Ohio’s oldest continuously operated market has its named attached to a parade associated with Opening Day. (You may recall from this post last week that I went into the city for the ambiance of the day.)

2014 was the Cincinnati Reds’ 133rd Opening Day and the 95th Findlay Market Parade.  The parade route is several miles along with rows of people lining the entire journey … and many more people watching in city center.

The Reason for the Annual Celebration

The Reason for the Annual Celebration

Although records show this year’s parade had over 180 floats, a float is definite as any wheeled vehicle that carries people. A truck pulling a long trailer loaded with people dressed in red (with some holding a plastic glass) is a float. In other words, it’s a cheesy parade featuring local celebrities, organizations, businesses, trucks, horses, marching bands, a lawn mower drill team, and more. This parade is not opulent, but it is a beloved Cincinnati tradition and the reason why people will stand and watch for 2 hours. Enjoy the parade.

People love to participate in this parade

People love to participate in this parade

Do you remember this post about Teddy?

He was the Honorary Grand Marshall (as a Reds great from the past was the Grand Marshall)

He was the Honorary Grand Marshall (as a Reds great from the past was the Grand Marshall)

I strolled to Fountain Square where crowds were the biggest.

Do you see Cincinnati's leading lady with her outstretched arms in the background?

Do you see Cincinnati’s leading lady with her outstretched arms in the background?

Looking back at Fountain Square from the Skywalk

Looking back at Fountain Square from the Skywalk

For those who want a closer look at the lady on Fountain Square

For those who want a closer look at the lady on Fountain Square

Others in the parade

It's a float!

It’s a float!

Cheers to Cincinnati's beer tradition and their salute to Guapo

Cheers to Cincinnati’s beer tradition and their salute to Guapo


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54 thoughts on “On a Legendary Parade

  1. We never attended that parade the year we spent in Cincinnati. Then again, if it was on a weekend, I was probably working. (I worked evening and weekend clinics to avoid childcare. That way Dad had some one-on-one time, too. :) )

  2. What exactly is “a lawn mower drill team”, Frank? There must be a YouTube video somewhere of that. Is there a Graeter’s float? This celebration almost make me want to cheer for the Reds. Almost.

  3. Such local traditions are great, cheesy or not! As is stated in Mel Brooks’ movie “To Be Or Not To Be” when someone was asking if an outsider knew of the theater group’s lead, “Well, he is world famous in Poland.”

    • Trent,
      Cincinnati is a smaller city than people realize. Like anyplace, it has pluses and minuses … and this tradition is one of its best …. and it has one of the best Octoberfest celebrations in the world … but Opening Day is uniquely Cincinnati.

  4. It must be a good parade given that so many turn out to watch and cheer and wave. No parade works – not even those big NYC ones – if there is no-one there to cheer! Thanks for sharing Frank – it looked like fun!

    • Pauline,
      As you can tell, the crowd was definitely present … and this was only a short distance along the parade route. I walked many miles, and even away from Fountain Square, people were along the street.

  5. What a fun time, Frank. And I love all the colors.

    One parade we went to when we were in Geneva was quite memorable. There were lots of trucks — flatbeds like the one in your picture. Only they were peopled with ravers — folks on extacy who were dancing very robotically. Jacob was 6 and we’d gone early to get a good spot. We were in the front row because there was nobody else there. Everything was gray. Except for a large group of transvestites who were, I will admit, quite colorful!

  6. Your photos are terrific, but where’s one of a – MARCHING BAND?!! (probably because none this year were playing a Moody Blues tune)

  7. This is a really fun parade, Frank, and that’s what it’s all about. Keeping traditions like this are important, I think. So much in life gets thrown aside, and a few events, even “cheesy”–although I didn’t find it so, are special enough to bring people out to gather together and share some of their local history and create new memories. I really appreciate what that represents. And I’m delighted to see Teddy! I certainly do remember him!

  8. I am so sorry I am late. I am having technical difficulties with my iPhone. She is being retired this weekend. I use my phone at night and desktop during the day. So I have missed a lot if posts. But enuf – I did see your opening day post and this is wonderful. I never went to this parade. Not sure why, though my mom and I use to go down to the market. It is so close to my favorite Cincy place – Music Hall. These pictures are wonderful. Making me a bit homesick;) I need to make a trip home.

    • Kimberly,
      Glad you enjoyed them, but I’m surprised you never made it into town for Opening Day … which means you were at school working away! That a way!!!!! …. but I imagine you would appreciate the day for as an adult.

  9. Pingback: On a Few Murals | A Frank Angle

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