The Cincinnati Reds have put together an action-packed start to the 2011 season. The Red Hot Child will be quite happy to see that he’ll have a chance for more autographs on Opening Night.
The full details for the entire weekend follow.
Opening Day – Thursday, March 31, 2011 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 2:10 p.m. (Gates open at 11:40 a.m.)
- 92nd Findlay Market Opening Day Parade Grand Marshal: Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Findlay Market Parade, which begins at 11 a.m. Morgan will also serve as the Honorary Captain of the Opening Day game.
- Ceremonial First Pitch: Retired Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
- National Anthem: Grammy nominee and R&B vocalist Brian McKnight will sing the National Anthem in three-part harmony with his sons Brian Jr. & Niko. McKnight has released 11 albums (seven of them platinum) and is best known for his 1999 single “Back At One” that reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Sparky: A special tribute to Reds manager Sparky Anderson is planned for pregame ceremonies.
- MVP: Joey Votto will be recognized during pregame ceremonies for his 2010 National League MVP crown.
- Flyover: F-18 Hornets assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 131 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach will perform a flyover during the National Anthem.
- America The Beautiful: 338th US Army Band will perform America the Beautiful during pregame ceremonies.
- God Bless America: Technical Sergeant Felita Rowe of the Air Force Band of Flight will perform God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.
- Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Jive Records recording artists Cage the Elephant will sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
- Pregame Concerts: My Sister Sarah and Pete Wagner Dixieland Band will perform pregame concerts in the Fan Zone.
- Gates Open: Gates to Great American Ball Park will open at 11:40 p.m. (Reds batting practice ends at 12:20 p.m.)
- Rally Towels: All fans will receive a free rally towel, presented by Duke Energy, Kroger, Cincinnati Bell and Scotts.
Opening Night – Saturday, April 2, 2011 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7:10 p.m. (Gates open at 5:10 p.m.)
- Players in the Fan Zone: Pregame meet and greet with current Reds players, Cirque du Soleil “OVO” performers, Reds House DJ “DJ Sab” and more in the Fan Zone from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
- First Pitch: Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
- Fleece Blanket: The first 20,000 fans will receive a Reds Fleece Blanket, presented by Chiquita.
- Gold Gloves: 2010 NL Rawlings Gold Glove winners Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen will be recognized during pregame ceremonies.
- Rusty Griswolds: 80’s cover band The Rusty Griswolds will perform from a stage on the right field porch during inning breaks and after the game.
- Game Ball Delivery: The Budweiser Clydesdales will deliver the official game ball.
- Skydiving Team: Team Fastrax Skydiving Team will perform during pregame ceremonies.
- Fireworks: The Rusty Griswolds will play live during the post-game fireworks show featuring Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.
Sunday, April 3, 2011 – Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 1:10 p.m. (Gates open at 11:40 a.m.)
- Bark in the Park: Over 500 owners and their dogs will be at the ballpark for the first Bark in the Park for 2011. A limited number of “dog tickets” are still available at reds.com/dogday.
Sunday, April 3, 2011 – Reds Un-Cut: Live at the Aronoff delivered by DHL, 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Join the entire 2011 Cincinnati Reds roster, along with coaches and broadcasters, for a casual evening of fun and entertainment at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati. The program will feature player interviews, game show elements and other surprises in a theater-style show. Tickets start at $25 and include a game ticket to the April 2 Opening Night game. Purchase tickets at reds.com/uncut.
The world-famous, eight-horse Budweiser Clydesdale hitch will make several appearances Opening Weekend, including:
- Thursday, March 31: Findlay Market Opening Day Parade
- Friday, April 1: Fountain Square Appearance at Noon
- Saturday, April 2: Stables open to the public 2 to 5 p.m.; Parade around ballpark at 6 p.m.; Game ball delivery.
- Sunday, April 3: Stables open to the public 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.