A strange, mysterious diner is coming back to town this week, and attendees won’t even know where it’s being held until the day itself.
Le Dîner en BlancA “chic party” held in a public space that requires all guests to wear white and bring their own food is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Philadelphia. Thursday, August 18.
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Guests must be members or be sponsored by past members to participate in the exclusive event. There is also A waiting list that non-members may join attempts to receive an invitation. Tickets, which usually cost about $110 per couple, were sold each year.
Along with dressing elegantly in all white, participants should bring their own table, chairs, picnic basket, cutlery, food and drink. Wine and champagne are welcome, but beer and hard liquor are prohibited.
On the night of the event, thousands of guests meet at a designated meeting point, where they are led by table managers to a “secret location” via coordinated public transportation or chartered buses. Table managers assign exact seating arrangements where participants place their products and wait for the entire row to settle before sitting down.
Once seated, diners raise their white napkins to indicate that they have successfully occupied the public space, and so the event begins. After dinner, there’s fireworks, dancing, and other entertainment, and the evening ends with everyone cleaning up their trash before going home.
Philly’s inauguration Le Dîner en Blanc was hosted in 2012, but the event first started decades ago in 1988. Paris, Franceas a gathering with a handful of friends.
The event used to be highly word-of-mouth, but now relies heavily on the Internet and social media to spread information to participants (and citizens who wish to avoid the event). Although the technology behind the event has been updated, the principles behind it remain the same: to enjoy a gourmet meal with friends in one of the most beautiful places in the city.
We may not yet know where Le Dîner en Blanc will be held in Philly this year, but we do know where it won’t be.
Rittenhouse Square — August 12, 2021
Boathouse Row — August 22, 2019
City Hall / Thomas Paine Plaza — August 16, 2018
Franklin Square — August 17, 2017
Steps to the Art Museum — August 18, 2016
Navy Yard — August 20, 2015
Avenue of Art — August 21, 2014
JFK Blvd Bridge — August 22, 2013
Logan Square — August 23, 2012
The event was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s festive event will feature over 75 musicians and performers entertaining guests, including fan favorites from past years such as Hot Club Philly, Hip Hop Fundamentals, Philly Girls Jump, The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret and The Ernest. The Stuart Band is joined by Jeff Bradshaw and members of Snack Time Philly.
Along with the celebrations for the coming decade, 2022 also saw the first Le Dîner en Blanc event. Atlantic City on June 25, 2022
Le Dîner en Blanc may not be for everyone cup of teabut we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes on the web this week to see if there are any hints and where the exclusive event will be held.