Opening day right around corner

Cincinnati baseball fans wait all year for one day. That day this year is April 3, when the Chicago Cubs come into town for Opening Day.

This day will mark the second time in three years the Cubbies will have rolled into Cincinnati, along with lots of fans, and try to take the steam out of Cincinnati Reds fans across the Tri-State.

Tickets for the Reds home opener are a hot commodity every year. There aren’t many events for which fans will camp out a week in advance to secure their chance to attend. Fans lined up as early as Feb. 11 for the tickets that went on sale Feb, 18. I wasn’t able to go down until the Feb.15, but hey, I was there. And I left sicker than I’ve been in a long time from being outside. I like to think that I’m hard core that way.

Opening Day in Cincinnati is about more than going to a baseball game. Festivities and citywide parties lead up to the event. The parade that usually starts at Findlay Market and turns on Fifth Street, will be detoured this year due to construction. Rest assured, because fans will attend the parade to see Grand Marshal Mario Soto.

The stadium itself will be littered with media personalities and politicians alike. Your trusty sports editor met Sen. Mike DeWine in 2003. I even had my picture taken with him. One year, Trisha Yearwood sang the national anthem. She brought her superstar husband Garth Brooks along with her. Nick Lachey sang it another year and brought old whats-her-name with him. But, guests don’t get as big as the one coming in this year.

That’s right folks, if you’re planning on attending Opening Day this year, give yourself a little extra time to get through the gate. President George W. Bush, a good friend of new owner Bob Castellini and new General Manager Wayne Krivsky, is scheduled to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. So not only will traffic be backed up because of the parade and the sold-out game, the Presidents’ arrival will cause even more traffic congestion.

So, who cares if the Reds haven’t had a winning season since 2000? Enjoy the day like it’s meant to be enjoyed. It’s a holiday in Cincinnati for crying out loud.

If you don’t have tickets and don’t have the money to scalp them, head to your local establishment for great time. Get out there April 3 and show your Reds spirit; even if it’s kind of lackluster like the team.