Another Year of Dîner en Blanc, Another Year of Complaints

Some backlash to the chic, wear-all-white event was especially harsh this year — considering the fact that its Dilworth Park location affected SEPTA services.

diner en blanc

Dîner en Blanc guests arrive at Dilworth Park. | Image via 6ABC Action News

Dîner en Blanc and all of its white-clad patrons descended upon Dilworth Park on Thursday evening, for yet another year of the fancy, one-night-only, bring-your-own-pretty-much-everything event.

And then, as per usual, Philadelphians descended upon Twitter to criticize them.

Here’s a refresher on Dîner en Blanc for those who need it: The annual evening event, which started in Paris in 1988, is organized in cities across the world. It entails thousands of people, wearing all white, convening in some sort of iconic city destination, revealed only on the day of the event, for a chic dinner party. Guests absolutely must bring their own white tables, white chairs, and white tablecloths, and can choose between bringing their own dinner or purchasing a catered meal.

In Philadelphia, tickets cost $52 a pop (including a $9 membership fee) and are available through a lottery system. They’re not easy to come by due to the event’s popularity, so you’re lucky to get one — but if you do, you get to skip the lottery the following year.

This year, a record 5,500 people attended Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia, spilling over from Dilworth Park into Thomas Paine Plaza. The location was certainly iconic: Guests gazed up at City Hall or across to LOVE Park while they ate.

It seemed like fun was had by those who attended — but not, unfortunately, for some who didn’t.

As per usual, the chi-chi event was met with some backlash. After several years of convening in Philly, land of we-reject-overly-fancy-things, a little hate is nothing the organizers don’t necessarily expect.

Still, some people were especially frustrated with the event this year because it affected SEPTA’s City Hall services.

Otherwise, some just wanted to weigh in with their general distaste for the event.