A record 5,300 white-clad guests attended Philadelphia’s sixth-annual Dîner en Blanc on Thursday night in Franklin Square. To attend the pop-up event, which started in Paris in 1988 and is now celebrated worldwide, diners are required to provide their own food, tables, chairs and tablecloths. After the event is finished, guests clean up and must take their personal items and trash with them.
Danielle Harris and Yuval Yarden, Executive Director at Philly Startup Leaders
Javon Hill, Samantha Messick, Jorey Hill, Nick Marisco, Annie Gottlieb, Timothy Hill and Loretta Hill
Rachel Campbell and Alexis Velazquez
Guests at Diner en Blanc decorate their tables for dinner
Brandon Washington and Natasja van Dijk just got engaged moments before I took this photo of them.
Sharon Johnson and Patrice Berkley
Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran, co-hosts of Diner en Blanc
Elizabeth Duran and Anita Oh
Jen Jaynes and Amanda Healy
Kass Dahlquist, Philly Food Girl on the caroseul at Franklin Square
Erika Collazo and Celeste Collazo
Stephanie Stamler, Jazmin Santillan and Tina Le
Mina Say What, Roberta Pipito, Rick Pipito, Quincy Harris, Ivy Harris and Chef Barbi Marshall
Guests at Diner en Blanc light sparklers signaling dinner is over and dancing will begin
Brandon Ryan and Mikey Ticzon
George Brown, Fletia Brown, Adam Spivak and Laura Roesser
Jerome Campbell and Leslie Collins try their hand at miniature golf at Franklin Square
Katie Robinson, Amanda Parlett, Nikki Thompson, Jeanette Geter, Carmen Lennon and Tess Kozul
Diner en Blanc Philadelphia founder Natanya DiBona, photographed by Claudia Gavin.
Behind the Line is Foobooz’s weekly interview series with the people who make up Philadelphia’s dynamic bar and restaurant scene. Click here for the full archive.
This Thursday, thousands of people will converge on a secret location for Diner en Blanc Philadelphia, which is now the largest of the dozens of Diner en Blanc events around the country. So we decided to take a break from talking to Philly’s chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs to speak with the woman behind the oft-maligned party. Read more »
A shot from RideDNC, organized by the same folks behind the Cycle en Couleur | Photo courtesy Alexandria Schneider
We’re not sure why Dîner en Blanc gets such a reaction from people — whether it’s people gleefully toting their dinner wares on the subway while decked out in white or people blatantly rolling their eyes at the people who are gleefully toting their dinner wares on the subway while decked out in white. The organizers aren’t sure why Dîner en Blanc incites angst amongst Philadelphians either. But regardless, it does — which means parodies of the event pop up every year. (Remember this Dîner en Sweatpants shindig?) So, if you are in the camp of the folks who rolls their eyes at the mention of the event, you’ll be pleased to hear about a very colorful alternative event going down the same night (that’s August 17th) as this summer’s Dîner en Blanc.
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Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia/Facebook
Despite inspiring mixed reactions from our city’s particularly curmudgeonly residents, Dîner en Blanc will return to Philadelphia for a sixth BYO-everything, white-dress-only pop-up outdoor meal this summer.
And on June 6th, you can get a taste of what’s to come.
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Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia 2016. Photo | HughE Dillon
Last week Philadelphia’s fifth Dîner en Blanc event went off without a hitch on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as thousands gathered to celebrate the French tradition, and a few others took to social media to ask why in the world they would want to.
Some questioned the cost, or more specifically, where that money could elsewhere be spent. Others took issue with the dress code. Still others questioned the choice to purchase a ticket to an event that requires you to BYO-everything, including a chair.
Other corners of social media boasted a great time, and even a marriage proposal. The haters were seemingly outnumbered by those who attended and those who hoped to. Of 70 cities hosting events this year, Philadelphia is the only one to have implemented a lottery system for the waiting list, similar to the one used for the Broad Street Run, after their website crashed last year from an overwhelming number of registrants.
In the past five years Dîner en Blanc has rapidly spread around the globe, with volunteers hosting their own events in top-secret locations that showcase the most spectacular corners of their cities. And the haters? According to Sandy Safi, co-founder of Dîner en Blanc International, they all live in Philadelphia. Read more »
Photo | HughE Dillon
Dîner En Blanc Philly has garnered its fair share of controversy this year, in typical Philly fashion.
Last week, the city saw its fifth-annual DEB event, which has 50-year-old Parisian roots. If you don’t know the schtick by now, it’s as follows: One night a year, thousands of people wearing their finest whites flock to a surprise, last-minute location for a posh dinner under the stars, which they themselves are entirely responsible for providing. Tickets? $45 per person, and that’s if you manage to get past the ridiculously long wait list. Read more »
On Thursday night 5,000 people brought their own white tables, tablecloths, chairs and meals to take part in the 5th anniversary of Dîner en Blanc, a pop-up picnic and worldwide epicurean phenomenon. Local residents and friends Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran saw the chic pop-up Dîner en Blanc take place in Paris and Montreal and, when it moved to New York in 2011, they wanted to be a part of it and thought it would be great in Philadelphia. Read more »
In 2014, Diner en Blanc Philadelphia was on the Avenue of the Arts. Photo by Johanna Austin
By year five, you should know what Diner en Blanc is: A posh pop-up dinner party in a public location that’s kept secret until just before the event begins. And since the event is tonight, by 7 p.m. your Instagram and Facebook feeds will reveal where it’s all going down — unless you’re one of the 5,000 who got notified by the organizers because you managed to score a coveted invite. How coveted? More than 30,000 signed up for the 2016 wait list. Read more »
Fernando Valle is a long-time supporter of Philadelphia’s Diner en Blanc, the popular annual all-white popup dinner party. We chatted with him about the LGBTQ history of the event and what to expect this Thursday.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with Diner en Blanc.
I’m originally from Mexico City and have been enjoying Philly since moving here in 2011. This year, I am one of the group leaders for Diner en Blanc. I have six amazing table leaders, and all together we are responsible in assisting 150 of the 5,000 guests who will attend the fifth edition of DEB in Philly. The table leaders ensure their group knows where to meet and what to bring. They also answer many questions. I was a table leader last year. Read more »
Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2014. Photo by Johanna Austin
Whether you’re a Diner en Blanc devotee or devoted to hating on it, the preview party Tuesday night at Reading Terminal Market
will give you a peek at what all the fuss is about. Mostly, the fuss is about exclusivity, with a side of spectacle: Diner en Blanc, started in Paris in 1988, is an invite-only pop-up dinner party with thousands of paying guests, clad in all white, converging on a public space.
Philly’s first, five years ago, was at Logan Circle; last summer’s location at the Navy Yard was not as well received by attendees, but businesses seemed to prefer it to 2014, when several blocks of Broad Street in Center City were shut down.
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