Why downtown Cincinnati will glow this weekend

BLINK Cincinnati, a new, four-day light and art festival will be held throughout downtown Cincinnati continues through Sunday, Oct. 15.

The Lumenocity-inspired event is expected to attract more than half-of-a-million visitors to Greater Cincinnati. The event will span 20 city blocks – from The Banks to Findlay Market – and is expected to be one of the largest light, art and projection mapping events in the nation. The festival’s layout will roughly follow the Cincinnati Bell Connector route.

“BLINK will be kicked off on Oct. 12 with a light parade that is community-driven. We will have over 2,000 people in the parade with over 200 artists,” said Josh Stout, BLINK Program Manager, ArtWorks.

>> 6 places to visit in Cincinnati

Close to 1,000 students from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will carry illuminated “eye ball” lanterns. There will be people in costumes, kinetic sculptures and floats as well dancers and performers to create a whimsical wonderland of light, he said.

“The parade and some of the installations that are interactive are all about joining the community together, joining people together, especially now, I think that’s a really positive message we can be putting forth,” Stout said.

BLINK will feature a variety of installations and artists, both locally and internationally, who will create large-scale light projections, installations and murals – such as those on prominent downtown buildings as well as interactive street art and live performances.

>> 10 ways to celebrate the pumpkin this weekend

There will be 27 different installations throughout the 20-city block grid. For example, Canadian-based Lateral Office will present an installation of interactive, acoustic, illuminated seesaws called “Impulse” that you can ride with other festivalgoers at the Freedom Center. Another public art installation will feature two of Australian artist Amanda Parer’s giant, inflatable light-up rabbits from “Intrude.” There will also be a full entertainment line-up throughout the festival, featuring 30 artists on six different stages.

Organizers said the scale of the festival will put Cincinnati in the ranks of other international cities that host massive light shows, including Baltimore London, Sydney and Berlin.

The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, AGAR, ArtWorks, Brave Berlin and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber partnered to bring the festival to Cincinnati.

Want to go?

What: BLINK Cincinnati

When: Thursday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct. 15. BLINK will kick off on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a light parade that runs down Vine Street from Findlay Market to Washington Park. Bootsy Collins will serve as the grand marshal of the parade.

Where: Downtown Cincinnati, spanning 20-city blocks, from The Banks to Findlay Market.

Admission: Free. (Items are available for purchase.)

More info: The event is free, and open to the public. No tickets are required. (Architects of Air, located in Washington Park, is the only paid and ticketed event. Entry/ticket cost for this attraction only is $5.) Details at www.blinkcincinnati.com.

About the Author