Get a Peek at Diner en Blanc 2016

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2014. Photo by Johanna Austin

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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Cescaphe and Diner En Blanc Present New Year’s Eve at the Water Works


Cescaphe Event Group (CEG) and the hosts of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia partnered for the second year to host a memorable New Year’s Eve party at CEG’s newest venue, the historic Water Works (640 Water Works Drive, Philadelphia). Revelers were invited to ring in the New Year with an evening of dinner, drinks and dancing to the Bill Handy Orchestra. This year’s theme was the Golden Age of Hollywood, complete with a red carpet, director chairs, and life-size cutouts of some of Hollywood’s glamour couples including Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn from The Philadelphia Story. At the countdown to midnight there was a champagne toast, with confetti and balloons filling the room. Dancing and desserts continued till 2 a.m.

Photos after the jump »

Diner en Blanc Organizer Explains Why She Chose the Navy Yard

Photo by HughE Dillon

Photo by HughE Dillon

Besides the rain, which no one but God could have helped, the main complaint I’ve been hearing about this year’s Diner en Blanc is the location—at the Marine Parade Grounds of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Most of the grumbling is coming from attendees who had to hop on trains and shuttles to lug their Diner gear so far south. Then there was the fact that it was raining, which didn’t mix well with the Navy Yard’s grassy fields. One participant on shared that, “Last year was great because it was dry and on pavement and now we are on the rain and on grass. … Everyone [was] sinking and heels [were] sinking into the grass and mud.”

It’s funny if you think about it, because the tables have kind of turned. In previous years, location squabbles came from non-attendees who were pissed about road closures, like in 2014 when it was smack dab in the middle of the Avenue of the Arts. You just can’t satisfy everyone. But organizers are trying.

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PHOTOS: The LGBT Community Rocked Out Diner en Blanc

Gays and a white party. Do we need to say more?

Last night, some of Philly’s LGBTQ community rocked out their best attire, brought along their fancy place settings, and journeyed to the Navy Yard for this year’s Diner en Blanc. Despite the rain, everyone looked fantastic, even with their balloons and masks, and Philly’s favorite queen, Martha Graham Cracker, gave a rousing performance. We were there to capture the evening’s LGBT community (and their allies) enjoying the wet, but joyous, festivities

Despite Rain, Diner en Blanc Drew a Festive Crowd to the Navy Yard

Despite the poorly timed rain, 4,500 game Philadelphians dressed in white scurried to the Navy Yard for the fourth annual Diner en Blanc. If one thing can be said about the drizzle, it at least gave participants an excuse to add a whimsical touch to their monochromatic ensembles: the white umbrella.

Society snapper HughE Dillon was there to capture the experience, which, besides dinner, included live music, a performance by Martha Graham Cracker (who was decked out in a slinky white number à la Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch) and dancing. Check out his photos below:



There are 30,000 People on the Diner en Blanc Wait List


Diner en Blanc 2015 returns this weekend with what is simultaneously one of the most loved and most loathed events of the summer season. If you’re not keeping score, the ultra-exclusive soiree charges a select number of individuals for a dinner party at which they must wear all white and—this is the shocking part—they have to make plans for their own dinner, either bringing a picnic or opting for a catering option offered by Diner en Blanc. As Monica Weymouth explains in a piece published on this morning, “There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who are shopping for white folding chairs today, and those who would sooner set themselves on fire.”

I tend to find myself in that latter category, which is why I had fun dissecting a Q&A with the event’s organizers, Natanya DiBona and Kayli Moran, that ran in this weekend’s Inquirer. Did you realize, for instance, that the waiting list to get in is 30,000 people strong?! Here are some other interesting tidbits:

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How Did Dîner en Blanc Become Philadelphia’s Most Polarizing Event?

It’s not that I hate Diner en Blanc.

It’s more that I really, really hate Diner en Blanc.

That is, if Diner en Blanc actually exists. My working theory is that it doesn’t, that the organizers of Thursday night’s dinner party accessed my subconscious and designed an elaborate hoax based on my wildest nightmares and most visceral fears. Think Freddie Krueger, but with more seersucker and entitlement, less clawed gloves and face melt.

Far-fetched? Perhaps. But the alternative is believing that thousands of my fellow Philadelphians entered a lottery for a chance to buy $39 tickets to a dinner party that doesn’t serve dinner. That they’re seriously going to dress in head-to-toe white and drag their own tables, chairs, dishware and food into Center City during a heat wave. That — per the world’s most eye-stabby slide show — “once all the guests are settled in, [they’ll] spontaneously lift their white linen napkins to indicate the beginning of the dinner.” Read more »

Dîner en Sweatpants Returns for a Comfy Second Year

diner en sweatpants

Photo by Lulu Hoeller / Flickr

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the announcement of Dîner en Sweatpants, the lazier, oh-so-comfy cousin of those other dîners, Blanc and Noir. It arrived today via organizer TicketLeap, who announced it’s happening on Thursday, August 20th, on the Schuylkill Banks between Walnut and Locust streets.

Don’t worry about color-coordinating an outfit or trying to round up some fancy table ware. All you need for this one is a blanket (any color!), a picnic dinner (go ahead, bring a greasy pizza!), and something to drink (Yuengling!).

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