A building in downtown Cincy lighted up for BLINK

BLINK is Back in Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Ky.

Keep your eyes wide open for BLINK, the Cincy Region’s free public art festival coming back this year on October 13-16. It’s the largest public art , light and projection mapping festival in the U.S. and there’s nothing else like it in the world.

A crowd of people dancing on lighted up circles at BLINK Cincy

The Beginning of BLINK Cincy

BLINK started in 2017 as an experiment. Artists from around the globe had been experimenting with a new form of art: light-based designs using projection mapping technology. Enthusiasts in Cincinnati wanted to bring them here to use our large collection of murals and historic architecture to serve as the base for the installations. The free festival was a hit, bringing a million people out to enjoy the art.

Up close on the Roebling Suspension Bridge with the cables lighted purple and teal for BLINK Cincinnati

In 2019, the festival grew and spanned the Roebling Bridge to bring Covington onto the route, attracting 1.3 million people to participate. They explored the neighborhoods, enjoying the lighted animations that brought murals and building facades to life. Kids played on light-up see-saws, adults in glowing costumes marched in the parade, alleys were activated with lighted umbrellas and other quirky art. Characters on murals sang, flew and danced. It was magical.

A giant disco ball hanging over a parking lot lighted up yellow with a baby dancing underneath

BLINK 2022 Festival

This year, the footprint has expanded to include 30 blocks of interactive installations, light-based animations, live music and the world’s largest disco ball.

In Covington, the spectacle starts at the Ohio River, with a mobile installation will connect the riverbanks and be clearly visible from both Smale Park on the Cincy side and the new Covington Plaza on the Kentucky side. Some of the NKY buildings that will be used for the projection-mapped art in Covington include Mother of God Church, the Gateway Building and First Financial Bank, with Hotel Covington marking the southern boundary of the festival.

Danders dressed in gold with yellow lights in the BLINK Cincy parade

BLINK Cincy Kickoff Parade

Kicking off the BLINK festivities is the parade on Thursday evening. The exact route has not yet been released, but artists and enthusiasts have already been working hard on their costumes and props that will be used during the event. The parade’s theme is “Together: a constellation of shared cultures and unique identities,” with the goal of “illuminating joy through creative expression.”

Two Faile murals in Covington, Ky lighted up for BLINK

Enjoying BLINK Cincy

When you come for BLINK, plan to do some walking in the Cincy/NKY region. The art is meant to be viewed in person and there will be many interactive elements. Since there are four evenings of the festival, you can plan your route to make sure to see everything.

There will be a comprehensive map of the art and activities online to help you easily navigate the neighborhoods.

People in a tunnel lighted green, red, blue with 16 bit art for BLINK Cincy

Keep your Eyes Open for Community Celebrations

The art and lights of BLINK aren’t limited to the official locations. The entire Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region will be getting in on the BLINK fun with local businesses and residents lighting up their buildings, yards, and public art.

Where to Stay for BLINK 2022

Book now to ensure that you get accommodations during the festival.

Here is a list of hotels.

Airbnb options can be found here.

What Else Is There to Do in the Cincy/NKY Area?

The Cincy Region is known for its world-class restaurants, craft beer and bourbon distilleries. There are also many other things to do, including gallery shows, theater productions, museums, parties, live performances, guided art and history walks, art workshops and so much more.

To find activities, you can search for “local illuminations” on the ArtsWave Guide or check out the Northern Kentucky-focused ArtQuest calendar.  We share places to visit and local activities on our website and events across the region are posted here on the meetNKY Calendar and on the Visit Cincy Calendar

So make those plans to visit the Cincy Region in October for BLINK! You don't want to miss it. 

Night time shot of a row of illuminated teeter-totters with people using them at BLINK Cincinnati