History and Background
Spanning 30 city blocks and running over 4 days is one of the largest light, projection mapping and art events in the country – BLINK CIncinnati!!
This free event traverses downtown Cincinnati from the Findlay Market, across the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge and ends in Northern Kentucky.
We started our adventure a few hours before sunset. We love the Over-The-Rhine (OTR) area of Cincinnati. The revitalization of that area over the years has given us cause to return again and again to see the changes. There is always something new there to see or do.
Honestly, we started in the Findlay Market area because we know it the best. Blink Cincinnati spans from here, down the main strip of OTR, past The Great American Ballpark and over the Roebling bridge to Covington, KY.
It had only been a few months since we spent on overnight in OTR. Exploring the heart of the area and its surrounding regions, we found awesome artwork, great parks and interesting people.
Now, returning for Blink Cincinnati, we see that there are additional murals as well as new graffiti works on some of the older buildings. According to our sources, there were 15 permanent murals installed!
Parking and Arrival Considerations
Going down earlier also helped in finding a parking spot. Event parking in one of the Findlay Market lots was only $10. You can find some street parking in adjacent streets and some churches and businesses were opening their lots at roughly $20 per spot.
The Event “Zones”
The event is broken down into 5 zones:
- Findlay Market
- The Banks
Each zone has a hospitality area, VIP section, restrooms to go along with all the awesome artworks and light shows.
In the first zone, LifeWater had a free body marbling station. Dani took the plunge, literally and got her hands and forearms decorated!
Pleasantly, we were surprised that the crowds were spread out well. At no time did we feel jammed up while going through the top 4 zones. Police were directing traffic at all the major intersections, ensuring cars did not accidentally go down blocked off roads and that pedestrians were safe when crossing through the major streets.
Sides of buildings had large projections on them, some were purely for your viewing pleasure, while others were a bit more interactive. Great family fun!
Down in The Banks Zone, Great American Ballpark had a baseball themed show displayed. Andrew really liked this one as it was not just a video being played, but the different sections of the lighting changed.
Throughout the areas, there were bands and DJ’s playing, adding a musical element to the areas between displays. Most, but not all the lighting installations had a music element to them as well.
We did not venture into the 5th zone, Covington. By the time we walked through the first 4 zones, we were honestly getting a little tired!! LOL. That and the fact that it was taking, by some peoples estimations, between 50-70 minutes to walk across the Roebling bridge from Covington – we made the decision to stop because we needed to walk back to the Findlay Market zone to get to our car.
2020 Visual Ohio Plans For Blink Cincinnati
Given the sheer amount of installations to see, we are definitely going to come up with a different plan for this event in 2020. Trying to get to everything in one night is a bit tricky, especially if you really want to enjoy them. Given that, we are thinking of breaking this up over a few nights – probably 2. Cover 2-3 zones one day, then the remaining zones on the second day.
There is a lot of walking if you are going to try and take it all in. On concrete sidewalks and blacktopped streets, comfortable walking shoes are essential here. Andrew prefers his Merrel MOAB low cut hiking boots, while Dani went with her Avia sneakers.
There is a shuttle/cable car that can take you from one end to the other – but be forewarned, people pack in there like sardines! If you are any kind of claustrophobic, that is not the ride for you.
Hydration and Consumables
Bring plenty of water and some snacks. While there is food and water along the way, most of the restaurants were packed solid. It was an almost perfect fall day/night, but you can never go wrong with having some water with you.
There are also food trucks and street vendors with drinks and snacks in case you run out!
During the day, the temperatures were pleasant, but once the sun set, the chill in the air was noticeable. You can definitely help yourself out by having a hoodie or light jacket, a hat and some light gloves. Winds in the Findlay Market and OTR zones were not too bad, but they did pick up a bit once you got down to The Banks Zone.
An event like this is a fantastic sight to behold. A fun time for all ages! We would love to see more of this kind of event in other cities. All we know is that we had a great time and whatever group is spearheading this event – they are doing a great job! Keep up the spectacular work!
Remember, too, that this is a free to attend event, so is a great time on the wallet as well!! 🙂