Kaitlyn Baker to Appear in Cincinnati's Opening Day Parade

Kaitlyn Baker to Appear in Cincinnati's Opening Day ParadeThe 97th annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in Cincinnati will honor the memory of firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11, even as it celebrates the traditional start of the Major League Baseball season on Monday, April 4.

Opening Day has long been regarded as an unofficial holiday in Cincinnati, home of America's first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Since 1920, the Findlay Market Parade has featured a wide array of marching bands and floats promoting everything from political candidates to local businesses and organizations. The upcoming parade will feature nearly 200 entries and will include a celebration on the city's Fountain Square, prior to the Reds' opening day game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The parade grand marshal will be former Reds manager Lou Piniella, who led the team to a World Series victory over the Oakland A's in 1990. He is currently a consultant to the Reds as a Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations.

Parade participants will also include country singer/songwriter Kaitlyn Baker, courtesy of the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati. Baker will appear on a float featuring a 12-foot-long piece of structural steel from one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, believed to be the only traveling 9/11 memorial with an artifact from the WTC.

"I am a huge Reds fan, so I'm excited to be riding in the Opening Day Parade," Baker said. "It's a special honor to be part of the 9/11 traveling exhibit. I will be singing a variation of a song titled 'Don't Push.' It was originally written about bullying, but it can apply to terrorists. The lyrics warn bullies to stop attacking innocent people, or somebody more powerful will push back."

The WTC artifact was donated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to Green Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, which created a permanent memorial with half of the steel beam, while donating the other half to the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati. The museum features historic exhibits related to the Cincinnati Fire Department, the first professional fire department in the country.

Other parade entries include the Cincinnati Police Department, the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, the Kroger Company, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Chick-fil-A, Luken's Poultry & Seafood and more.

The 2016 Findlay Market Parade will begin at noon on Monday, April 4, winding along Race Street and 5th Street. Information about the parade is available at www.FindlayMarketParade.com. Information about the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati is available at www.CincyFireMuseum.com. Information about Kaitlyn Baker is available at www.KaitlynBaker.com.

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