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Reds’ Opener features Robinson, Lachey

CINCINNATI — Opening Day is a big event in Cincinnati. This year may be the biggest yet.

From Frank Robinson to Nick Lachey to the Cincinnati Bearcats football team, fans will get to sample a host of Cincinnati fans and celebrities during the Findlay Market Parade and pre-game ceremonies at Great American Ballpark.

Robinson, who was an All-Star with the Reds and led the team to the 1961 pennant, will be the parade grand marshal and honorary captain.

The parade will also feature Reds’ starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, a gifted singer and musician who will perform as he rides the parade route. This marks the first time since the early years of the parade that a current Reds player will participate in the event.

Lachey, a Cincinnati native and Jive Records artist, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Singing the National Anthem will be 18-year-old Mia Carruthers, a student at the University of Cincinnati who is a singer and songwriter and was the star of the MTV reality show “Taking the Stage.”

Big East football champion Cincinnai Bearcats will hold a giant American flag in the outfield during the National Anthem. Bearcats’ head coach Brian Kelly will deliver the official game ball to the mound for Opening Day starting pitcher Aaron Harang.

The seventh inning stretch features the singing of “God Bless America” by Cincinnati firefighter John Winfrey. Also during the seventh inning, the Bearcats’ marching band will play “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

Prior to the game, Reds’ second baseman Brandon Philips will receive his Rawlings Gold Glove trophy.

The Reds will also honor a group of wounded heroes with members of the Armed Forces who were wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There will also be a moment of silence for longtime Reds scorekeeper Glenn Sample who died last year.

Performing a pre-game concert in the Fan Zone will be the Goshorn Brothers.

Gates to ballpark open at 11:10 a.m. with first pitched scheduled for 1:10 p.m.