Play ball: Cincinnati opening day moved from Good Friday

Play ball: Cincinnati opening day moved from Good Friday November 15, 2011

You may remember the controversy from some weeks back.  Well, now there’s an update:

A looming conflict between a religious holiday and a yearly tradition has been avoided.

The Cincinnati Reds announce the 2012 Opening Day game will be played Thursday, April 5 at 4:10pm vs. the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park.

The original 2012 schedule released in September had Opening Day on Friday, April 6 — Good Friday.

“We want to thank Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and the Reds and Marlins players for agreeing to move Opening Day to Thursday, April 5,” said Bob Castellini, Reds President and CEO, in a news release. “Opening Day is a long-standing tradition for this team, our fans and the city of Cincinnati and we are pleased that the parade and game will now be on Thursday.”

“The Findlay Market Association is once again proud to be the sponsor of the Opening Day parade,” said Neil Luken, Chairman of the 93rd Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. “We want to thank the Reds and Major League Baseball for working with the Findlay Market vendors so we can put on a great parade.”

When the Friday date was first announced, community leaders were concerned that Findlay Market vendors would not sponsor a parade on Good Friday, which is a heavy shopping day for the market.

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8 responses to “Play ball: Cincinnati opening day moved from Good Friday”

  1. When the Friday date was first announced, community leaders were concerned that Findlay Market vendors would not sponsor a parade on Good Friday, which is a heavy shopping day for the market.

    I’m rather confused as to what the objection was to having Opening Day be on Good Friday. Was it because Good Friday is a day of solemn religious observance? Or was it because Good Friday is a prime shopping day?

  2. Bill Logan —

    I guess it’s some of each. I hadn’t even noticed the reference to its being a heavy shopping day until you pointed it out. It’s a bit surprising that in “heavily Catholic Cincinnati” Good Friday is a major shopping day. Maybe they’re getting ready for Easter.

    Anyway, I can see how people would feel that commercial activity is okay but a big parade isn’t.

  3. You have it backwards.

    Opening day, especially in Cincinnati, is rife with tradition and a huge shopping day. Good Friday is obviously not. If opening day is held on Good Friday, it would basically take the joy out of it, and it would be notably somber.

  4. Or does the story have it backwards? Is opening day big for Findlay Market, while Good Friday is slow?

  5. To clarify, in Cincinnati, there are several traditions. One is Good Friday where a whole lot of Catholics pray the steps at Mt Adams and also many go to their local parishes for stations of the cross and other services. Another tradition is opening day Findlay Market Parade. This move to have opening day on Good Friday hit hard with two different traditions. Catholics were upset over the mix with Good Friday and the markets that make up Findlay Market did not want to see their business hit on what for them is a good shopping day just before Easter when many would be there getting food supplies, for which Findlay Market is well known, for their Easter weekend celebrations and family meals. Some visiting Cincinnati for the stops in fact go down after to Findlay Market. So moving it to Thursday is good for everyone.

  6. Bill,
    The City of Cincinnati, as well as the surrounding suburban counties, includes a great number of Catholics. One of the biggest traditions for Good Friday observances is to pray the Rosary while walking up the 150 steps to the Church of the Immaculata in Mount Adams, while a great many actually go up the steps on their knees. And, no, Good Friday is not a traditionallly big shopping day. The Opening Day parade starts at the historic Findlay Market, and proceeds downtown and then to the Great American Ballpark. Thus, with thousands of people going to the market, it ends up being a huge shopping day for the Market and associated merchants. So Opening Day is the reason for the shopping, not Good Friday.

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