From global phenomenon to highly sought-after “secret,” Dîner en Blanc returns to Philadelphia this summer for an unforgettable evening of elegance, beauty and magic. On Thursday, August 22, 2013, twenty-three hundred participants will celebrate and re-purpose a highly-visible public space by enjoying a night filled with food, wine, fashion, culture and music. This très chic picnic, now celebrating its 25th year internationally, is part mystery tour, part pop-up feast and part je ne sais quoi. The waiting list to secure an official invitation is now open at philadelphia.dînerenblanc.info.
Last year, Dîner en Blanc made its grand debut in Philadelphia when 1,300 guests descended upon the secret pop-up location that was revealed to be Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Circle. In its second year, event co-hosts have worked hand-in-hand with top city officials to again secure a memorable spot that is unexpected, well known and celebrates the cultural spirit of the event.
“The thing I loved hearing most from guests at last year’s event was the sense of community they felt and how they fell in love with Philadelphia all over again, ” said Co-Host Natanya DiBona. “The focus of our event is to really celebrate the great public spaces the city has to offer and how they can be creatively used. Sharing an elegant meal in a beautiful space with new friends creates an everlasting memory. As one participant said after last year.. every time I pass Swann Fountain my heart smiles!”
Registration for this exclusive event will be limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Invitations are available first to all registered members who participated in the 2012 Philadelphia event. Other interested parties can also secure an opportunity to register by placing themselves on a waiting list. Once potential participants add their name, they will join a growing list of interested parties who share a common love for the event – as well as for the City of Brotherly Love. A sense of community is fostered through preview events, such as the one last Wednesday at William-Sonoma, as well as online discussion forums, Pinterest boards and social media outlets.
In early to mid July, all waiting list members have an equal opportunity to register themselves and a guest after a summer of suspense. Each registration will sign up their date, pick a meeting spot for the day of the event, and have the option to pre-order picnic food from the official event caters, Garces Catering and DiBruno Brothers.
On the day of the event itself, true to tradition, bystanders around the city will witness groups of 200 people gather at specific rallying points and then converge on the final location by foot or by other means of transportation. All participants are asked to dress elegantly in white, from head to toe, as well as bring an epicurean feast, chairs, fine china, silverware, white tablecloth and elegant table decor. .
Over the course of the evening, participants will celebrate dinner as an art form through time-honored traditions, live music and even dancing. Visually breathtaking moments will include the waving of a cloth napkin to mark the beginning of the dinner, as well as the lighting of sparklers to let participants know they are now free to circulate, mingle and dance.
Mole Street Productions has returned again to help assemble a musical line up that will dazzle guests. Carte Blanche, a highly unique revivalist jazz group, will provide dinner music featuring sounds of the classic American 20’s and 30’s to jazz, French and Latin American music. After dinner, DJ Bruce will get the crowd up and get the dance party rolling. While the accessories and fashions are white, the event is green and eco-friendly, leaving the public space exactly as it was found. When it is time to leave, guests pack up their belongings, pick up all their litter and head to the official after party, leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry.
The Sofitel Philadelphia will also serve as the official hotel partner by offering a special package for an overnight stay in the city. The special rate of $199 USD (plus tax) includes luxury king accommodations, breakfast for two in Chez Colette, one French baguette and one large bottle of limited edition Evian Water for dinner. Other sponsors include Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue and XIX Restaurant.
Prizes awarded during Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia will include Most Elegant Man, Woman and Table. Additional details will be posted closer to the date of the event. “Philadelphia really shined last year and we will be watching for even more elegant attire and tablescapes this year,”said DiBona. “As many of our guests showed, this is a unique opportunity to wear your finest white gloves, hats, fascinators and perhaps even unpack that gorgeous wedding gown you haven’t seen in a few years!”
Dîner en Blanc is BYOB and therefore all participants must be at least 21 years old. Dîner en Blanc’s Philadelphia is produced entirely by local volunteers that include two Co-Hosts, eight Group Leaders, 48 Table Hosts and several on-site volunteers. For more information and to sign up for the waiting list, visit philadelphia.dînerenblanc.info. To join the growing online community, join in discussion forums on the website, or follow Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (@debphl).
About Dîner en Blanc International
The worldwide phenomenon known as Dîner en Blanc will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Launched by François Pasquier and a handful of friends in 1988, the Paris Dîner en Blanc now attracts more than 10,000 people each year. What began as a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international epicurean phenomenon on five continents. While the technology behind the event may have changed over the years, the principles fuelling this fantastic event have not: diners continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a high-quality meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful locations. Dîner en Blanc International, based in Montreal, is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 40 cities by the end of 2013. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who fell in love with the concept and wanted to bring it to their city, giving this rendezvous a local flair.
- Jun 5, 2013 Preview party for Diner en Blanc Philadelphia at Williams-Sonoma (albfor.wordpress.com)
- Diner En Blanc To Return To Philadelphia In Summer 2013 (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Shh….Secret dinner in Paris (else-world.com)
- White Alert! Diner en Blanc to Return to Philadelphia in Summer of 2013, Wait List Now Open! (phillylovesfun.wordpress.com)