Jake Speed's Big Folkin’ Opening Day Party

Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the first Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day in some time where fans actually have cause to be realistically optimistic about the team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs come the end of the season. If you’re planning on going all out for Opening Day, a good place to start your reveling is at Arnold’s, as local Folk faves Jake Speed and the Freddies once again host its baseball-themed variety show. The fun kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and you can be there in spirit if you can’t make it in person by listening to WNKU, which will simulcast the festivities live.—- (Listen online at wnku.org.)

The event — official title: “WNKU & Kroger Present Jake Speed & The Freddies’ Opening Day Radio Extravaganza” — includes a set of baseball-themed Folk songs from the band as well as gags, skits and more. The band is joined by musical guests Ed Vardiman (Straw Boss), who’ll play Cowboy Copas’ “Three Strikes and You’re Out” with the band, and Mark Utley, of Magnolia Mountain, who will lend some banjo to the group’s version of Woody Guthrie’s “Joe DiMaggio Done it Again.”

Baseball recreators will be dressed as the 1869 Red Stockings, Jim Tarbell will make his traditional appearance as legendary vendor Peanut Jim and prizes will be given out all day, including several current and former Reds’ autographed baseball cards. Here’s a partial list of prizes:

Jonny Gomes autographed baseball card

Brandon Phillips autographed baseball card

Joey Votto autographed baseball card

Eric Davis autographed baseball card

Barry Larkin autographed baseball card

Tony Perez autographed baseball card

Joe Morgan autographed baseball card

George Foster autographed baseball card

Tom Browning autographed baseball cards (3)

Chris Sabo autographed baseball card

Joe Oliver autographed baseball card

Norm Charlton autographed baseball card

Hudy Delight T-shirts and swag

WNKU CDs and swag

Arnold’s T-shirt’s and swag

For an idea of what to expect, here’s a promo clip for last year’s very Freddies Opening Day party:

If you’re going to game, you’ll hear even more music. My Sister Sarah and the Pete Wagner Dixieland Band will play before the game in the stadium’s Fanzone. Mega R&B star Brian McKnight will sing the National Anthem in three-part harmony with his sons Brian Jr. and Niko. And AltRock band Cage the Elephant (no doubt Reds fans growing up — they’re from Bowling Green, Ky.) will take on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the Seventh Inning Stretch.

Go Reds!

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