Dîner en Blanc Philly 2020
Today would have been the 9th annual Diner en Blanc a magical night under the stars for which Philadelphians packed their own dinner, bring their own chairs and tables, meet their table leader somewhere in Center City, and then wait until the 6:30 p.m. phone call which tells them where their “secret” dining location will be. No Complaints. People want to go and schlep their items and enjoy a unique night out with friends.
In 2012, the very first one took place. Moi and 1,300 people dressed in white to take part in the pop-up culinary event. It was spectacular and something to remember; it was one of those moments you’d tell people, “I was there that night.” The first one held in Philadelphia took place at Logan Square on the Ben Franklin Parkway, which was designed in 1917 to emulate the Champs-Élysées in Paris. A perfect choice. I knew that night I wanted to attend every single one, and I did.
Diner en Blanc is held in 90 cities across 30 countries and began 31 years ago in Paris, France as a small dinner party. Participants arrive at a designated departure point with their table, chairs and picnic materials, and then make their way to the secret location with their table leader by chartered bus or organized public transportation. They take all of their belongings with them at the end of the night, including leftovers and trash.
The second-annual Parisian-style foodie event in 2013 attracted 2,200 people and took place on the JFK Bridge over the Schuylkill River.
Le Dîner en Blanc is always held in a public location with space limitations, and local organizers must therefore limit the size of the tables to optimize the given space. The space is measured out in the planning stations, with the groups of people arriving in a fashionable order to place their tables in order of how they were planned on the grid weeks before the event.
The location of Philly’s 7th annual Diner en Blanc was kept secret until hours before the event was held outside Philadelphia City Hall at Dilworth Park on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 where thousands of guests donned all-white and dressed to impress.
In its eighth edition in Philadelphia, Dîner en Blanc took over Boathouse Row with a sea of people 6,000 dressed head-to-toe in white.
This blog post is dedicated to Kim Pinci who passed away earlier this summer. Kim adored Diner en Blanc! I looked forward to shooting her every year, always looking Hollywood glamorous, with the best, well thought out table and delicious food. Every year she returned with her loving husband Bob, with old friends at her table, some were friends she had met the year before at DEB. She was the life of the party.
She’ll be missed.
A Message from Le Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia Hosts:
Today: Thursday, August 20th, would have been the 9th Le Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. While we can’t all be together this year, we know many of you are planning your own socially-distanced dinners with family and members of your pod.
We want to see your celebrations on Instagramand we want to recognize your creative efforts with a giveaway of NINE complimentary registrations for two to next year’s event!
The rules of DEB still apply- square tables set for two with white tablecloths, dishes, chairs and guests adorned all in white. However, this year you can safely use your good china, glassware and your grandmother’s antique linens; create an over-the-top centerpiece you wouldn’t normally be able to transport; and you can include your kids and pets! Get your napkin-waving hand ready, cue up Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, and light those sparklers as you snap the perfect shot of your #debphl20!
We can’t wait to see your unique celebrations from balconies, porches, yards, lawns and stoops! To be eligible for consideration, your posts (photos/videos) must be posted to Instagram as a static, in-grid postbetween August 20th and August 31st and you must use the hashtag #debphl20 and tag us @dinerenblancphl. We’ll be sharing some of our favorites via stories, but only those posted to your grid will be eligible to win! Also: we can’t see your posts if your profile is private.
Please note: a multi-city virtual DEB event may take place this Fall. We will share details once they are available!