From the colorful Findlay Market to the bustling waterfront Banks, a four-day festival full of lights and art is coming to town for the first time: it’s the inaugural BLINK festival. This 20-block event will feature more than 70 projection mappings, murals, interactive art sculptures and various light-based displays. It’s free and open to the public, and volunteers of all kinds can participate. 

“Through an immersive, inclusive and magical experience, BLINK will define our united community as an innovative and creative future city,” says Rich Walburg, BLINK and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber director of communications.

This event will bring people from all over—whether that’s across the bridge, from other regions, people of various backgrounds and more—for one exciting new experience. The event is free (with the exception of Architects of Air at Washington Park, which is $5), with corporate and civic supporters including Duke Energy, Fifth Third Bank, The Haile Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Western & Southern Financial Group and dozens more. Guests won’t even need tickets to enter the festival. 

“BLINK began when representatives from Agar, ArtWorks and Brave Berlin approached Cincinnati’s Haile Foundation separately with ideas for art and light-based events,” explains Walburg. “Tim Maloney of the Haile Foundation realized the potential of combining and crafting the ideas into one mega-event: BLINK!” Walburg says the five organizations creating BLINK are Agar, Artworks, Brave Berlin, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. 

Some exhibits will include Impulse, Forrealism Tribe, The Peacock, Storybook, Vase Maze and The Pool. The Pool, a crowd favorite, is an interactive piece that encourages participation and play among those of all ages. They can leap from one pad to another and use collaborative movement to create a luminous environment. The Pool has been featured at more than 20 national and international festivals. 

“Thousands of volunteers will help make BLINK a success,” Walburg says. “If you would like to be part of Cincinnati history, visit”

General volunteers who will help the festival flourish will work with greeting guests, helping them traverse the city to see all the displays, work hands-on with some of the showcased artists and artwork and more. This is a fun way for individuals to get involved with the community and be immersed in the arts. 

BLINK will kick off Oct. 12 with a parade of lights all throughout Over-the-Rhine. The parade will feature schools, arts and cultural groups, musical groups, dance groups, families and individuals. 

There will also be multicultural performances of all kinds, from dancers to singers to theater to puppet shows. Other forms of live entertainment, like bands and buskers, will be present during the festival.

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