BLINK 2022: How to experience the nation’s largest light festival

How to get there, what to see, where you can eat and more!
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 9:58 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - It’s BLINK part three, the third installment in Cincinnati’s fantastically popular art festival.

Billed as the nation’s largest light, art and projection mapping experience, BLINK is expected to draw more than 1.5 million people to Downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine and Covington over four days starting Oct. 13.

BLINK’s second installment in 2019 was the region’s largest event ever.

Fifth Third Bank is helping BLINK 2022 go carbon-neutral by offsetting all emissions with renewable energy certificates.

The event requires no tickets and is completely free.

See PDF map at the end of this story or follow the link here. An interactive map can be found on the BLINK website here.

(Before we get started, our pick for best restroom is gonna be Music Hall, which will also be open with snacks, drinks and comfortable seats to rest your walking-worn feet. You’re welcome.)

Find everything you need to know below:

Weather

The forecast for this weekend looks, in a word, perfect. Autumn is fully here in Cincinnati, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thursday: Mostly sunny with some clouds. A surprise line of showers could pop up around 8 p.m. High of 62, low of 39. Winds at 15 mph.

Friday: Sun, sun, sun. High of 63, low of 46. Winds at 14 mph.

Saturday: Sunny with some clouds and a slight chance of showers. High of 68, low of 43. Winds at 10 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny with some clouds. High of 65, low of 40. Winds at 9 mph.

Getting there & Parking

Parking garages in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown Cincinnati and Covington will be open at event pricing.

Metro and TANK will operate all fixed-route and Access paratransit service fare-free after 6 p.m. every day during BLINK.

To ease congestion, four park and ride locations will offer direct, continual service to the Riverfront Transit Center (RTC), located at The Banks below Second Street. The four locations are:

· Cincinnati State;

· Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education;

· UC Digital Futures Building; and

· Northern Kentucky University.

The Cincinnati Streetcar will run during BLINK. Ridership is free.

Street closures

Murals and Projections

The ArtsWave-backed event will feature 39 large-scale projection mappings and sixteen new permanent murals from international and local artists.

Iconic muralist Tristan Eaton will create the largest mural in Ohio at Elm and Fifth streets.

Renowned duo PichiAvo will create a mural with with Classical art and graffiti influences on Dunlap Street.

MORE | New mural honoring Cincinnati’s brewing history unveiled in Over-the-Rhine

Memorial Hall and the Contemporary Art Museum are among the buildings whose facades will come to life thanks to projected art maps.

The shimmering projections, the festival’s most eye-catching and ubiquitous element, will turn Cincinnati’s beloved historic buildings into a techno cityscape of the future.

Most displays are 3-8 minutes in length and are on a continuous loop.

Architects of Air

The star of the first BLINK in 2017 returns in 2022. Architects of Air has been featured at the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Guggenheim in Spain.

It’s an interactive walk-in sculpture maze that offers a sensory experience that’s both soothing and awe-inspiring.

The installation, which is the size of half a football field, will be at Ziegler Park.

Drone Show

The BLINK drone light show will be a 10 minute-long show with 300 drones that will display 3D images, animations and lights

The drone show will lift off Thursday at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

BLINK and CVG airport have partnered together to create designated viewing areas at Smale Park in Cincinnati and the Covington Landing Amphitheater in Northern Kentucky.

Music

BLINK will feature live musical entertainment from more than 80 bands.

The musicians will play on stages at Washington Park, Ziegler Park, Court Street, Fountain Square, The Banks and in Covington.

Walk the Moon will headline a show Saturday night at The Banks’ Andrew J Brady Music Center to cap a celebration of the Jewish Bicentennial. Other artists include soul-pop band Lawrence and jazz musician Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Tickets here.

At Music Hall Friday-Sunday, composer and filmmaker pairs will show short-format films paired with music performed by the CSO. Tickets required. More info here.

Skatefest

You might also want to bring a pair of skates for Skatefest Cincy.

Skatefest features both indoor and outdoor skating. The rollerblading fun goes through Saturday at two different locations: Findlay Market and The Riverfront Outdoor Rink at Sawyer Point.

Food

The Asianati Night Market will feature regional vendors on Court Street every night.

Food trucks will be located at Ziegler Park, on Central Parkway at Walnut Street, at Fountain Square, at the Duke Energy Convention Center, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and outside Covington’s Mother of God Roman Catholic Church.

All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage vendors accept both cash and credit card payments.

Some food vendors may be cash only.

Merch

You can buy BLINK merch right now here or at the BLINK store at 1511 Vine Street.

Additionally, Orginalitees, Black Owned, Limelight Store, and Let’s Glow Crazy will offer merchandise and souvenirs for purchase.

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