Monday, April 4, 2016

Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade is an Annual Tradition for Tom Rechtin Heating & Air Conditioning



Tom Rechtin's restored 1940 Ahrens-Fox fire truck will be featured in the Opening Day Parade. 

For a majority of the United States of America, Easter is widely considered the major springtime holiday. That's not the case for the Greater Cincinnati Area. We have two major spring holidays: Easter and Opening Day.

The Cincinnati Reds Opening Day is filled with traditions as old as the game of baseball itself. One of those traditions is the annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. Whether you're conveniently going to be “sick” today from work to attend the parade yourself or will be tuning in on local tv stations, keep a lookout for #FTMFamily member Tom Rechtin Heating & Air Conditioning along the parade route.


Tom Rechtin Heating & Air Conditioning has been participating in the Opening Day Parade for the last 14 years. When owner Tom Rechtin Sr. first applied to be in the parade over a decade ago, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to mix work and play. “I was a season ticket holder at the time, and I was very much interested in the Reds, and the parade, and the exposure we would get as a company. It was also another way to support the program," said Rechtin.

Over the years, Rechtin has enjoyed the energy surrounding the Opening Day Parade. “I like all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for it,” said Rechtin. “It's fun to see everybody getting ready for the parade, and finding out how many people you know are also in the parade. It's kinda nice to be a Northern Kentuckian participating in the Cincinnati Reds parade." 

For Rechtin, preparing for the parade means making sure his vintage fire truck and flatbed truck are ready to cruise the parade route. “The fire truck is a 1940 model Ahrens-Fox fire truck, which was made in Cincinnati, and was the second hired fire truck that the city of Bellevue owned. I had particular interest in it because I was a volunteer fireman myself when I was 16-years old, and I drove in the truck many times. It has a real special place in my heart. I had the opportunity to buy it, and when I did, we restored it, and it looks like new today,” said Rechtin. 

The Dodge flatbed truck is also a restored vehicle from the 1940s, and is often used in other local parades as a unique platform for advertising.

The Opening Day Parade is also a chance for Rechtin to give back to the community. He raffles off a ride in the parade for an annual Holly Hills Children's Home fundraiser. “We put the truck in there for people to bid for a ride for the parade. We'll have 4 to 6 people in it. Generally, it's a family. I think this year we have a couple of grandparents and grandchildren,” said Rechtin. The parade has been a family affair for Rechtin as well. His own children and grandchildren have participated in the event alongside him over the years.

If Rechtin's hopeful predictions are correct, Opening Day will kick off a memorable season for the Reds. “They're going to do great,” said Rechtin. “They're going to do lots better than people think. Good group, young group. They're going to do great.”  

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