A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BLINK draws largest crowd ever for a downtown Cincy event, surpasses Riverfest, Taste, Oktoberfest

Cincinnati Police officials say BLINK, October 12-15, brought the largest gathering of people ever to downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine.

BLINK saw larger crowds than Riverfest (500,000), Taste of Cincinnati (550,000), and Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (675,000).

“For the entire weekend, we estimate that there were more than one million visitors to the BLINK experience,” said Cynthia Oxley, Director of Corporate and Community Events at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

BLINK, the largest event of its kind in the nation, featured large-scale projection mapping, murals, urban artscapes, media light, interactive art and diverse, eclectic entertainment.

“The Cincinnati region, as well as visitors from around the nation and the globe, have embraced BLINK in a big way,” said Tim Maloney, BLINK founder and president and CEO of the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. “BLINK brought people together across beliefs, cultures, neighborhoods and nations to celebrate Cincinnati as an innovative, inclusive and creative future city.”


  • More than 1 million people attended Cincinnati’s inaugural BLINK art and light event.
  • More than 2,500 people participated in the BLINK Future City Spectacular light parade.
  • Nearly 100,000 people attended the light parade.
  • 22 projection mappings were featured…
  • …along with 35 light-based art installations.
  • 8 new murals were painted by international artists.
  • 30 entertainers performed throughout the weekend on 6 stages.
  • Nearly 500 volunteers made BLINK possible.
  • More than 100 artists participated in BLINK…
  • …with 60 from the Cincinnati region.
  • 0 police incidents.

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“BLINK places Cincinnati at the forefront of cities that are known for arts, culture and unique experiences,” said Jill P. Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “BLINK shined a light – literally and figuratively – on this region’s creative community and beautiful architecture. It is a beacon to talent from around the globe, showing them that Cincinnati is the ideal place to dream and do. Simply put, BLINK was an over-the-top success.”

BLINK was also a viral hit with more than 1,500 tweets, 7,000 Instagram posts and 70 million traditional media impressions in its inaugural year. Social media reviews have been overwhelmingly positive with comments like:

  • “so great to see the street packed with all kinds of people”
  • “most epic event and diverse representation”
  • “we are Cincy proud”
  • “there were tons of people that were kind and patient and all moving towards the same thing which was enjoying art and music and coming together in the city.”
  • “it was a completely beautiful thing.”

Oxley praised the local agencies that had the responsibility of making the BLINK experience safe, as well as fun.

“More than a million-people enjoyed BLINK thanks to supporters and partners,” said Oxley. “Thanks to Cincinnati Police, Fire, Traffic and Safety, we’re also proud to note that BLINK enjoyed a safe experience with absolutely no police incidents.”

Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber

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