By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dîner en Blanc is an impromptu picnic and is returning to Philadelphia for a fourth year.
Dîner en Blanc originated in Paris 27 years ago and its popularity quickly grew to other locations. Co-host Natanya DiBona helped bring Dîner en Blanc to Philadelphia in 2012.
“It’s an elegant pop-up dining event where people come together at a surprise location to celebrate community and public space and history of architecture and the great city of Philadelphia, DiBona said.”
Last year there were 3,500 attendees and this year organizers hope to have close to 4,300.
“What is new is that we’re doing a lottery system for those who have not attended this year, so there’s equal opportunity for people to get an invite,” said DiBona. “And also be able to register if you’re selected from that lottery.”
The secret picnic will take over an undisclosed public space whose location is revealed only minutes prior to arrival, but there are some rules.
“You do have to bring your own table and chairs, you have to wear white, you can bring your own picnic or you can order from one of the caterers we have involved,” she said. “It’s BYO, so you can bring a bottle of wine”
The surprise location caused some headaches for a few business owners last year, but organizers say they’re going to do the same outreach they’ve always done when it comes to notifying merchants nearby. And no word from the organizers of rival pop up event “Diner en noir,” if they will be hosting a dinner of their own this summer.
The date for Diner en Blanc will be announced Tuesday night at the preview party on South Street at Headhouse Shambles on 2nd Street between Pine and Lombard streets.
Sign-up for the Diner en Blanc Philadelphia wait list by visiting philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info/register.