You’re invited! We’ve picked 9 events happening in the Cincinnati region in 2019 that we hope you’ll join us for.

1. BLINK Cincinnati is brilliant!

The country's largest art and light festival, Blink Cincinnati debuted in 2017 to more than one million people. In 2019, it’s back and even bigger. In addition to lighting up dozens of blocks of downtown Cincinnati, BLINK is stretching across the Ohio River to illuminate neighboring northern Kentucky. This means more lights, more art, more entertainment, and it is all free to the public. Mark your calendars for October 10-13, 2019 and start making plans for your weekend stay to take in this one-of-a-kind event! For more information about Blink (and a peek of what’s to come) visit www.blinkcincinnati.com

2. Wish the Cincinnati Reds a happy 150th Birthday!

The Cincinnati Reds 2019 season marks their 150th year as baseball’s first professional team. Be amongst tens of thousands kicking off the anniversary season on Reds Opening Day (March 28) with the 100th anniversary of the beloved Findlay Market Parade. Reds Opening Day is pretty much treated like a National Holiday here (forget trying to get any work done). The season-long celebration includes the players wearing all 15 of their “throwback” uniforms from over the years throughout the spring and summer, a newly renovated Hall of Fame fan experience, and a variety of promotions inside Great American Ballpark! To stay in the know about all the 150th anniversary festivities visit www.mlb.com/reds/one-fifty

3. Show off your love of bourbon

Our region’s bourbon offerings take center stage during the first inaugural Kentucky's Edge, Oct. 4-5, 2019. This new, two-day fall festival features bourbon-themed keynotes, panels and classes, as well as tastings, a free music festival and bourbon-inspired menu offerings at area restaurants. Think of it as SXSW for all things bourbon. It’s also your chance to have your bourbon “passport” stamped as you tour all the stops on the B-Line, the new gateway to The Bourbon Trail, to get free swag.

4. GOOOOAAALLLLLL! We’re gearing up for FC Cincinnati’s first MLS season.

Get your blue and orange out and get ready to experience one of soccer’s most exciting teams! FC Cincinnati blazed an unprecedented path through their league, setting records and defying all expectations on their two-year, meteoric rise to their first MLS season in 2019. The foot-stomping, drum-bashing diehards who fill the stadium’s “The Bailey,” section keep the raucous at a fever pitch here. If you’ve never been to a game and witnessed our football madness, then you’re missing out on one of the most exciting spectacles in modern sport. As if that wasn’t enough to be excited about, FC Cincinnati will kick off this milestone season by offering the most affordable tickets in the MLS.

5. Commemorate Survivors of the Holocaust

On January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Cincinnati will celebrate the opening of the new 12,000 square-foot Holocaust & Humanity Center (HHC), located inside the city’s historic and recently renovated 1933 Union Terminal. The new museum will include eyewitness accounts, interactive experiences and unique artifacts from this period in history. The museum will be the only one of its kind in the United States with actual ties to the history it tells, as Union Terminal was where many survivors arrived by train to Cincinnati and took their firsts steps into their new life.

FoldHaus, Shrumen Lumen, 2016. Photo by Ron Blunt.

6. Check out all the new art exhibits and performances

This year, the Cincinnati region hosts many new and innovative art exhibits and performances like, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.” This immersive exhibit leaves the Smithsonian for the first time ever, with the Cincinnati Art Museum as its first stop beginning April 26. A second phase of the exhibit opens June 6. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the culture of this epic annual desert gathering when the exhibit takes over the museum with huge installations, colorful jewelry, and photography.

Later, from July 22-27, The Cincinnati Opera partners with the Ohio Innocence Project to premier a new opera, “Blind Injustice,” based on a book by the same name. The opera portrays the true stories of six men and women wrongly convicted and later exonerated by the Ohio Innocence Project, one of the most active chapter’s in the country. It is part of Cincinnati Opera’s five-year commitment to showcase works that expand the diversity of the company called, “CO Next: Diverse Voice.”

7. Run the Flying Pig

This May brings the 21st running of the Flying Pig marathon, one of the largest marathons in the United States. This race takes participants through two states, starting in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, then over the Ohio River to Northern Kentucky and back to Ohio using our bridges and scenic byways. Need a pal to run with? Sign up your best furry friend to run in the “Flying Fur” with you the same weekend! Not a runner? That’s okay! You can still catch all the live music, food, and block parties celebrating the marathon throughout the weekend of May 5th.

8. Sing (and dance) along with your favorite throwback artists

July 25-27, the Cincinnati Music Festival is back, bringing you your favorite R&B, jazz, soul, and hip-hop artists! This year the lineup includes icons like Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, and Earth, Wind & Fire, who will all take the stage at Paul Brown Stadium along the Ohio riverfront. The party doesn’t end at the stadium though, all weekend long you can enjoy dance breaks at Fountain Square, food festivals, and special art programming by the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center. Buy your tickets now by visiting www.cincymusicfestival.com/tickets

9. Eat your veggies

This year we’re eating only the freshest produce, thanks to 80 Acres farms. The indoor, hydroponic farm is set to open by Spring of 2019 and will be the country’s first fully-automated indoor farm. Their innovative growing process uses 97% less water, 10 times less land, no pesticides, and reduces food waste, making them leaders in sustainability. 80 Acres will be providing their “green” produce to local markets and restaurants across the region just days after each harvest, so make sure to order some veggies while you’re exploring our culinary scene!

BONUS EVENT: Over-the-Rhine Film Festival

In early February 2019, the OTR Film Festival announced this year's event dates: October 2-6, 2019.

The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival began in 2013 with disability-specific documentary and narrative films. In 2018, the Festival expanded its mission to include a telling of humanity's diverse stories, covering additional subjects such as faith, family, and identity. Stay tuned for updates on 2019 programming and celebrity apearances.

Top 9 Events of 2019
Image courtesy Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival