BLINK accepts applications for 2024 ‘Let it Shine’ parade

Organizers of Greater Cincinnati’s beloved BLINK festival need residents, artists and community groups to help kick off all the light and art-centric fun this October during a parade on opening night.

BLINK – the nation’s largest light, art, and projection mapping experience – will take place Oct. 17-20 in Over-the-Rhine and downtown Cincinnati as well as Covington and Newport in Kentucky. The opening night festivities will once again begin with a themed procession.

Scheduled to take place on Thursday, Oct. 17 at sundown, the 2024 “Let it Shine” Parade aims to produce a show filled with illuminated sculptures, larger-than-life puppets, dazzling performers, glowing costumes and anything else local creative minds can conjure up.

A display during a previous BLINK parade.

The parade represents a once-every-two-years opportunity to unleash the city’s creativity, innovation and imagination, said Justin Brookhart, the event’s executive director. He described the numerous displays and performances created by groups as a way to “celebrate and contribute to this radiant tapestry of our collective imagination.”

“We want everyone to see themselves reflected in BLINK, providing a platform for diverse organizations to showcase their unique contributions,” he continued. 

BLINK aims to ‘Let it Shine’

The parade is open to anyone, but there are rules and expectations. For instance, this year’s theme is “Let it Shine.” It speaks to the struggle and resilience needed to overcome incredible challenges, said Marie Krulewitch-Browne, parade organizer and founder of ish.

BLINK will incorporate the theme into all the events surrounding the not-yet-announced opening ceremonies. 

“Throughout history, the arts have been a powerful tool in navigating differences and expressing our deepest emotions,” said Krulewitch-Browne, founder of ish, a community engagement organization centered on Jewish arts and cultural traditions. 

“Now, more than ever, arts and cultural rituals are essential for our healing,” she continued. “We invite all community groups to join us in this parade, to let their light shine, and to contribute to a collective celebration of our strength and creativity.” 

As part of the competitive application process, groups must come up with ideas for light-based costumes, illuminated props, kinetic sculptures and human-powered floats centered around the theme. BLINK also invites participants to incorporate artistic performance – dance, theatrical, even musical numbers – into their proposal.

Applications are due by Aug. 4.

BLINK plans to host community workshops and other events to support participation in the lead up to the parade. They’ll announce the route closer to the event.

Applications and more details are available at blinkcincinnati.com.


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