FOUND Cincinnati Makes Finding Holiday Events Easy

Celebrate the season with these tree lightings, art installations, and more around Cincinnati.

What better way to celebrate the Cincinnati community than a series of community-produced holiday events?

FOUND brings together all your downtown favorites with the click of a button. Businesses upload information about the events or specials they are hosting during the holidays, so Cincinnatians and visitors alike only have to visit one website——to access every holiday experience in the city via a digital map.

The accessibility of events for Cincy’s holiday season was prompted by 3CDC’s merge with Downtown Cincinnati Inc.

Christy Samad, Senior Vice President of Event Management at 3CDC, explained how the merge gave them a new perspective. “We were all kind of running on parallel tracks, but not on the same one… The various organizations (came) together to say, ‘Hey, why don’t we all promote what we’re doing for the holidays. Rather than sending all of these smaller little budgets on individual marketing campaigns, let’s put it all under one.” A more cost-efficient move that promotes a unified downtown was hard to resist, and so, FOUND was established.

The appropriately titled FOUND is based on the founding of Cincinnati—originally named Losantiville—in December of 1788. However, the title also recognizes FOUND’s other initiative: making a space to find community in and appreciation for the city as it is today. Andrew Salzbrun, Managing Partner at AGAR, said, “This is the season to honor the diversity of our community, a time to celebrate Cincinnati’s ongoing evolution and rediscover the city.”

The events kicked off Saturday, Nov. 20 with a free concert at The Banks and the Founders’ Forest tree lighting. But don’t fret—the month-long celebration allows plenty of time to dive into the holiday season in Cincinnati.

Christy Samad, Senior Vice President of Event Management at 3CDC, explained what else there is to look forward to this year.

Until a few decades ago, downtown Cincinnati would transform its storefronts into a “holiday wonderland” each year—a piece of history FOUND is bringing back with Windows of Wonder. “It’s from the banks to Findlay market and everything in between,” Samad said. “There’ll be 40 plus windows decorated.” The series of art installations launched November 26 at with the Founders’ Forest tree lighting.

Finding Losantiville is a four-week-long city-wide scavenger hunt that launches on November 29. “Each week there are different clues that you have to follow. And each week, the first person who finishes it gets different prizes,” Samad explained, “but then if you participate in all four weeks and you’re the first one to finish on the fourth week, then there’s a prize of $2,000.”

Though it is events (and prizes) like these that keep FOUND running, the other goal they have in mind is promoting small businesses. “The more people that come down here for events, they’re going to come and eat, and they’re going to stay and shop, et cetera,” Samad said.

“Especially a year coming out of COVID, we really want to support all of our tenants downtown from The Banks to Findlay,” Samad emphasized. “It’s so important to shop small. So, I think that’s kind of part of the messaging (of FOUND) as well. It was just to kind of give back to the city. When you spend your dollars at these local shops, it stays within.”

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