Get a Peek at Diner en Blanc 2016

A preview of the summer pop-up party celebrates Philadelphia inventions, like Peanut Chews.

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.

The preview party is free and open to anyone, but getting into Diner en Blanc itself is decidedly not. Your options are to be invited directly by one of the hosts, know someone who was invited and be really nice to them so they’ll “sponsor” your admittance, or sign up for a wait list and hope to be selected through a lottery system. The organizers said 30,000 people vied for spots last year.

Decide for yourself if it’s worth it at the preview tomorrow, where the date of the main event and details of the lottery will be announced. You can also feel empowered by voting on which table at the party you like best — they’ll be decorated with the theme “Celebrating Philadelphia: A City of Firsts,” ranging from the country’s first newspaper, public library and zoo, to “first flavors” like Peanut Chews.

Food will be provided by Reading Terminal Market, Luke Palladino Catering, and 33rd Street Hospitality Catering (the crew behind Revolution Taco in Rittenhouse), who all also offer Diner en Blanc packages. The Diner en Blanc wait list is already open.

We’ll let you know if rival event Diner en Sweatpants throws a preview jam too.

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