Saturday, March 30, 2002

Opening Day marks start, end

Fans coming for Cinergy's last year

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The grass at Cinergy Field was cut and watered Friday to prepare for the stadium's final Opening Day on Monday.

        The former Riverfront Stadium has been home to the Cincinnati Reds since 1970, and it was home to the Bengals until they moved to Paul Brown Stadium two seasons ago. The Reds will move to the Great American Ball Park in 2003.

        To commemorate the occasion, fans Monday will receive a lapel pin that replicates patches on the players' uniforms. It features Cinergy Field in the city's skyline, along with the years of its use, said Mike Vassallo, Reds assistant media relations director.

        Fans at the game will be treated to country singer Tracy Byrd's rendition of the national anthem. Gov. Bob Taft will toss out the ceremonial first pitch for the 2:15 p.m. game.

        Organizers of the 83rd Annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade are also putting finishing touches on the traditional pregame celebration.

        Cincinnati's renegade Charolais cow will be making her first public appearance since she made national headlines for eluding capture in Mount Storm Park last month. Mayor Charlie Luken will make good on his promise to give her the key to the city at an 11 a.m. presentation at Findlay Market.

        She will then wear the key while riding in a cage in the 165-unit parade.

        The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at Findlay Market and concludes about 1:30 p.m. at Fifth and Broadway streets. Grand marshal is Ken Griffey Sr.

        For additional parade information, visit

       The Cincinnati Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG Holthaus Signs and Identification employee Bill Brune applies a sign to the front of a dugout Friday in preparation for Monday's Opening Day at Cinergy Field.


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