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Blink organizers are expecting massive turnout, and hoping for international visitors

T-shirts on neon-lit hangers hang on a wall, above seven cans of spray paint.
Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU
T-shirts, pullovers, and spray paint are for sale in a Blink pop-up shop in Over-the-Rhine.

Blink starts in a week. The art and light festival will have 101 projection mappings, murals, installations, and live performances.

Blink Director Justin Brookhart says the four-night festival attracted 1.3 million people in 2019, and they're expecting a lot again this year.

“We hear from our hotel partners and from the folks at the visitors’ bureau that hotel occupancy is really strong this year,” he says. “I know our partners at CVG airport are telling us incoming flights during the weekend are looking really strong, too.”

Brookhart says while the focus has been on a local audience, they are looking at attracting more people from further away.

“Trying to get people in from those regional hubs that are maybe a half-day’s drive away from Cincinnati — your Chicagos, your Detroits, your Atlantas, your Pittsburgh — places like that. We want to get people in.”

Brookhart says a number of this year's artists are international and have a global following.

“We want to get international travelers coming in, too. We’re excited CVG has the direct flights from Paris and Toronto,” he adds.

He says they hope to attract some of those fans, not just for this weekend, but in the future, with murals that last beyond the four nights of Blink.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.