Estimated one million people attended inaugural BLINK Cincinnati

Organizers said police have estimated one million people attended the event (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The inaugural BLINK Cincinnati brought more people to downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine than any other event in 2017. Organizers say that's according to Cincinnati Police Department estimates.

Cincinnati police estimate more than one million people attended the event between October 12-15. BLINK Cincinnati features projection mapping and art installations over 20 city blocks. More than 100 artists participated, 60 of them are from the Tri-State. Other participating artists are from Puerto rico, France, Belgium, Pakistan.

"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 in a news release. "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."


If you were in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday night, you probably could not believe a couple of things: The size of the crowd, how peaceful it was and how diverse it was.

People young and old, walking side by side with families pushing strollers with everyone enjoying themselves by seeing Cincinnati in a new light.

When you bring murals to life or animate the stone columns you've seen for years, you're going to draw a crowd. How big a crowd? Bigger than anyone expected.

“The number of people is a surprise. We had projected 500,000 visitors and doubled that. We had 1 million visitors who maybe don't visit downtown or OTR on a regular basis and got to experience it in a very unique and creative and innovative way,” said Rich Walburg of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

No question about the uniqueness, creativity and innovation. So much great art comes from what's available to the artist. BLINK artists saw so much in what is seen every day. People wanted to take a fresh look.

“I was surprised at the artistic input that went into it and the crowds were massive. It was nice to see so many people on the streetcar and so many people out with their families and their friends and what Cincinnati has to offer. It was really great,” said Rose Barrett of Pendleton.

Not only was the crowd massive, it was diverse. All ages, all races, all moving on sidewalks that spilled onto the streets. Police say there were a few issues. No major ones.

“And what we're hearing not just from them but from people on social media is what a magical event this was and what a vibe, terrific energy at the event and everyone was in a great mood and very friendly and it was just a welcoming, diverse event,” said Rose Barrett of Pendleton.

Family friendly in the core of a major city. Tranquil enough, some, like Rose Barr fell asleep.

“Yeah, he did. He slept through part of it but when he woke up he saw the lights and he was excited. He really liked it, too. So it was a good time,” said Rose Barrett of Pendleton.

It was amazing how many people were out with strollers at 10 p.m. Saturday night.

BLINK was different. It reminded one of the downtown crowd when the Reds won the World Series. All kinds of people, on the street, in a good mood.

Planners will meet later this week to discuss whether to do another BLINK event.

There will be a lot of pressure to do it again.

Organizers said they also tracked 1,500 tweets and 7,000 Instagram posts.

Overnight, crews took down all those installations and other items needed for the event.

See Local 12's PHOTO GALLERY of BLINK here.

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