If we had our way, every baseball team would begin the season with a parade — as is the case in the Quad Cities and Cincinnati, where Opening Day is celebrated with the proper pomp and circumstance.
The annual Cincinnati Opening Day Parade will be held April 5 at 1 p.m., with former Red Aaron Boone acting as grand marshal of the 93rd annual parade. It starts at Findlay Market, goes south on Race Street to Fifth Street, then east from there, passing Fountain Square. A giant TV will be set up in Fountain Square for those wanting to stick around and watch the Opening Day game at Great American Ball Park, as the Reds host the Miami Marlins at 4:10 p.m. You can find more information at the parade Website.
In Davenport, the schedule for Opening Day festivities for the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League) has been announced. The season begins April 5 with an Opening Day Championship Parade to celebrate the River Bandits’ 2011 Midwest League title, followed by the Quad-City Times Opening Night Celebration at Modern Woodmen Park. Throwing out the first pitch will be Shelby Harris of Rock Island, Ill., who will be 111 years old – the oldest verified age of any man living in the United States. To honor him, the River Bandits will sell Modern Woodmen Berm tickets for $1.11 each. In addition, the first 1,111 fans will receive the inaugural River Bandits collectible pennant. Magnet schedules will be given away at each of the three home games opening weekend. And since everyone needs a place to put those magnet schedules, the River Bandits will continue their tradition of giving away a brand-new refrigerator to begin the season.
In the highlight of the new promotions, the River Bandits will be the first U.S. professional sports team to hold a photo jersey auction to benefit local cancer organizations. Fans can purchase small squares in the River Bandits players’ jersey numbers to feature a photograph of themselves, a family member or friend. The jerseys will be worn during the game on Cancer Awareness Night presented by Genesis and KWQC-TV, Friday, Aug. 10, so fans can also purchase a square for a loved one who has been affected by cancer. After the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting Genesis Foundations, Quad Cities Affiliate Susan G. Komen For The Cure, and Gilda’s Club Quad Cities. A limited number of squares are available for purchase at $25 each, with all of the money raised going to the aforementioned local charities. More information is available by calling (563) 3-BANDIT.
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