BLINK will transform the suspension bridge into a span of light and color

The 2019 version of BLINK will feature the transformation of the John A. Roebling Bridge, better known as the Suspension Bridge, into a span of color, light, and sound.


The creators of BLINK, a three-day festival of large-scale light mapping, street, art and interactive installations, plan to turn the 152-year-old bridge into a monumental work of art.


They will work with the Roebling Bridge Historical Society, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and officials in Cincinnati and Covington, and use light, color, and sound to enhance the bridge’s current architectural lighting and bring the bridge to life.


“We will focus on the most grand and predominant features of the bridge, including the anchorage, gateway towers, arches, and spires,” says Steve McGowan, owner and partner of Brave Berlin, one of the producers of BLINK. “It is our goal to illuminate the river in a magic glimmer of color and reflection.”


The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is underwriting the effort.


This year’s version of the sprawling festival, held Oct. 10–13, will take place from Cincinnati’s Findlay Market neighborhood to Covington — bridging two states, and span 30 city blocks and the Ohio River.


It’s an expansion from the inaugural 2017 event, which was spread over 20 blocks in downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine and was experienced by more than one million visitors, the largest gathering of people ever in those neighborhoods.


The Roebling Bridge installation will literally connect the two states across the river and encourage visitors to experience the full scope of the festival.


The John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, named after the civil engineer who designed it, has been a Cincinnati landmark and thoroughfare for 152 years. When it opened on Jan. 1, 1867, it was called the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge and was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It held that record until 1883, when Roebling’s signature project, the Brooklyn Bridge, opened.


“The historical significance of this beloved iconic landmark makes it the centerpiece of BLINK and our continued desire to celebrate Cincinnati as the future city,” says Dan Reynolds, owner and partner of Brave Berlin.


BLINK is considered the only U.S. event of its kind, and features large-scale projection mapping, murals by international artists, interactive light sculpture,s and a variety of entertainment. It is free and open to the public. The event is produced by The Agar, ArtWorks, Brave Berlin, the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
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David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.