From global phenomenon to highly sought-after “secret,” Dîner en Blanc returns to Philadelphia on Thursday, August 18, 2016 for an unforgettable evening filled with food, wine, fashion, culture and music. In honor of the event’s fifth year, the très chic picnic will expand to 5,000 guests in 2016, tying New York City as the largest in America. Dressed in white from head to toe, attendees will celebrate and re-purpose an unexpected public space that is revealed only moments before the event begins. Past locations have included Logan Circle, JFK Bridge, Avenue of the Arts and The Navy Yard. Where will Diner en Blanc Philadelphia pop-up in 2016? Stay tuned for the biggest secret of the summer!

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Part mystery tour, part pop-up feast and part je ne sais quoi, Dîner en Blanc is a magical evening that celebrates and re-purposes public space. Bystanders will witness groups of guests all dressed in white gathering at specific rallying points all across the city. Guided by volunteers, these groups will then converge on a unique and unexpected setting, travelling by foot, bus and/or public transportation. Guests will bring their own gourmet feast, table, chairs and table setting. Over the course of the evening, they will eat and celebrate amid music, entertainment and dancing.

The evening is filled with visually breathtaking moments including the waving of a cloth napkin to mark the beginning of the dinner and the lighting of sparklers to let guests know they are now free to mingle and dance. When at the end of the evening the trumpet sounds, guests pack up all of their belongings, pick up all their litter and head back into the night, leaving behind no sign of their elegant revelry.

Diner en Blanc was brought to Philadelphia by co-hosts Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran. Each year they coordinate the event with a team of volunteers which this year will top 160 (including the annual planning team, table leaders and on-site event support). Past surprise locations for Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia have included 2012’s Logan Circle, 2013’s JFK Bridge, 2014’s Avenue of the Arts and 2015’s The Navy Yards, Marine Parade Grounds. The event has grown from 1,200 in 2012, to 2,550 in 2013, to 3,500 in 2014, and 4,500 in 2015. For 2016, DiBona and Moran have big plans for the biggest year yet, with 5,000 guests.

“This year’s 5th Annivesary Dîner en Blanc will celebrate Philadelphia and the Parisian roots of the event, while offering a bit of nostalgia with entertainment and other elements that participants have enjoyed in the last four years,” said co-host Natanya DiBona. “The first year it was critical that in one aerial shot someone could look at it and instantly recognize Philadelphia.  With Logan Circle not only were we able to show off a 360 degree view of some of the most beloved cultural institutions in Philadelphia, but we were able to have a nod to the french heritage of our event with a spot that was designed by a french architect on the ‘Champs Elysee of America.’ In the years since, we have picked locations that show off spaces in new and unexpected ways while highlighting their history and significance to the City of Philadelphia and reflecting the growth and development of the city. What’s in store for this milestone year? Our lips are sealed!”

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Potential guests interested in attending the 2016 event for the first time can sign up on the waiting list at philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info/register. The final day to add yourself to the waiting list in time for the 2016 lottery is July 11, 2016 at 11:59PM. As of today, more than 3,000 interested parties have added themselves to the waiting list since last year’s event. The full registration schedule is as follows:

** Phase 1 (starts July 5, 2016) – Registration opens for last year’s registered members

** Phase 2 (starts July 12, 2016) – Registration opens for friends sponsored by Phase 1 members

** Lottery/Phase 3 (starts July 14, 2016) – Lottery software selects names from waiting list in random order; new participants selected by lottery can register using a code they are emailed within 36 hours; after 36 hours the code will expire and other names will be selected by the software

“The lottery system gives all wait list members in Phase 3 an equal chance to secure a registration slot,” added DiBona.

In order to maintain the uniqueness of the event, as well as staying true to the long-standing traditions, guests must observe the following:

** Guests must dress from all in elegant and stylish white.

** Table settings must be white.

** Guests should meet at their assigned departure location and be escorted to the final destination by Dîner en Blanc volunteers.

** Guests should be prepared to attend the event rain or shine.

** All guests must leave the event location and neighorbood as clean as when they arrived. Guests are required to leave with their belongings, including leftovers and litter.

Guests must bring:

** A table, two white chairs, a white tablecloth, stemware and dinnerware.

** A picnic basket with fine food and drink. Food should be brought in reusable and/or recycled containers.

** Champagne or wine (optional).

A catered picnic option, which can be picked up at the site, will be also available for those who do not wish to pack their own. Guests wishing to do so must reserve online through Dîner en Blanc website during the initial ticket registration. This year’s official caterers are 33rd Street Hospitality Catering, Reading Terminal Market and Luke Palladino Catering. Apothic Wines is proud to be the official wine sponsor of the 2016 US Diner en Blanc series, including Philadelphia.

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For full details on the event’s rules and regulations, please visit the official website: philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info/about. To keep up to date on event announcements, follow Diner en Blanc –  Philadelphia on Facebook, dinerenblancphl on Instagram and @debphl on Twitter (hashtags #DEBPHL16 #dinerenblanc).

For all official videos of Dîner en Blanc around the world, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/DinerEnBlanc.

DINER EN BLANC PHILADELPHIA

Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia debuted in the City of Brotherly Love on Thursday, August 23, 2012. Co-hosts Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran worked with a six person volunteer planning team from April to August to make the first event happen. 30 Table hosts and on-site volunteers led 1,300 guests to the surprise location, Swann Fountain at Logan Circle.

Four events later, Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia grew to 4,500 attendees, the second largest in the US and the fourth largest in the world. 130 volunteers were necessary to bring participants to the 2015 location, the Marine Parade Grounds at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Guests traveled by a variety methods including by foot, subway and 50 chartered buses.

While Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia has been the recipient of “best foodie event” and “best pop-up” awards from publications such as Philadelphia Magazine and Main Line Today, the event’s greatest distinction is having the highest guest return rate of all the DEB events in the United States. The 2016 team is passionate about the experience they create for our guests and they look forward to delivering another great event in the summer of 2016.

ABOUT DÎNER EN BLANC

Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, Le Dîner en Blanc has become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon. Dîner en Blanc- Paris now attracts nearly 15,000 people each year. What was a “friends and word-of-mouth only” event has grown into an international sensation celebrated on five continents. While the technology behind the event may have changed over the years, the principles fueling this fantastic event have not: guests continue to gather at a secret location for the sole purpose of sharing a gourmet meal with good friends in one of their city’s most beautiful public spaces.  Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 50 cities in more than 20 countries around the world. 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.

ABOUT APOTHIC

Embrace the intrigue of the unexpected.  Apothic® White, the official wine of Dîner en Blanc, blends Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Grigio to create a refreshing, medium-bodied wine with flavors of peach and apricot, that leads to a crisp, balanced finish.  Named from the 13th century European Apotheca, where wine was blended and stored, the wines of Apothic fuse Old World intrigue with modern sophistication.  Our winemaker, Debbie Juergenson, crafts unique, captivating blends that create layers of complexity.  Taste a White with Darker Motives and revel in the intrigue of Dîner en Blanc.

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About Philly Loves Fun

A blog about Philadelphia's fun and unique adventures, arts, events, food and opportunities.

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