WORTH THE DRIVE: Don’t blink and miss Cincinnati all aglow this weekend

BLINK Cincinnati, a mesmerizing and free four-day light and art festival, will return to downtown Cincinnati this week. This time, events will be on both sides of the Ohio River.

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There will be 45 interactive light installations and over 80 bands featured throughout the four nights of Blink.

The light and culture festival will take place over five zones from Covington, Kentucky, to Findlay Market over more than 30 blocks.

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BLINK will begin with a parade at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, and then take place between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. each evening through Saturday, Oct. 13.

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Illuminated robot costumes. Galactic Light Beast puppets.

The event-opening parade through the city will feature world-renowned chef Jean-Robert de Cavel as grand marshal.

The parade will move south on Vine Street in Downtown Cincinnati, from Eighth Street to Rosa Parks Street and West Freedom Way at The Banks.

The parade will feature more than 3,000 people comprised of 85 participating groups, 19 performance groups, 18 lantern-making groups, 17 float/kinetic sculptures, 17 costume groups, 7 puppet groups and 7 regional marching bands.

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Nearly one mile of LED lights are making this 27-foot high installation glow for Blink. The Rainbow Bridge is 15,000 pounds of steel covered in 25,000 individually addressable LED lights.


Fountain Square will be illuminated in lights, animation and sound.


Hope on a stationary bike to make an archway glow.


More than 80 entertainers will be featured throughout Blink, according to the release. The main act on Saturday night will be a performance by Grouplove.

Other featured acts include Redfoo, Pomegranates, Dudley Taft, Ernie Johnson from Detroit, The Cincinnati Opera, Willie Jones, Sun Seeker, Bendigo Fletcher, Young Heirlooms, Telehope, Rob Fetters, Harbour, Jess Lamb, JSPH, Carriers, Maria Carrelli, All Seeing Eyes, Lauren Eylise, Multimagic, Elementz, Dinosoul, Cincinnati Music Accelerator Buskers and many more.


More than 1 million people attended the inaugural four-day event two years ago, many walking the route of art installations but many also choosing to remain in their cars and drive the route.

This year, officials are expecting the same level of attendance but say expanding into Northern Kentucky, strategic street closures, and park-and-ride options will encourage walking through the festival and help improve flow, WCPO reports.

Download the app for directions and walking tours.

All projection mapping shows are between 3-10 minutes in length and are on a continuous loop so you can arrive at any time. Each night will feature the same shows and art installations.

BLINK is designed around the Cincinnati Bell Connector Streetcar route. Guests can walk from each installation and can also take the streetcar and get off at each stop to view installations. Guests can purchase a full-day streetcar pass for $2. Tickets can be purchased via the kiosk at each streetcar stop or purchased ahead of time via the CincyEZ Ride app.


Food, Pepsi products, water and alcoholic beverages are available in multiple locations throughout the event.


What: BLINK Cincinnati

When: Thursday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 13. BLINK will kick off on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a light parade.

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

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

More info: www.blinkcincinnati.com

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