Diner en Blanc returns August 22 to NYC

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It’s amazing anyone can keep a secret these days with social media at everyone’s fingertips, and yet, the ultimate party planners manage to do it. It’s the best-kept secret of the summer social calendar. The location and party details are all withheld from everyone until two hours before it begins. This genius ephemeral party is Le Dîner en Blanc, and it’s back in New York on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 for its seventh year.

This legendary pop-up picnic unites guests with 5,000 of their closest friends. There’s really only one rule: everyone must wear all white, from head to toe. With guests decked out in blanc, the soirée has an aura of class and elegance. Party goers are responsible for bringing their own white tables, chairs, and tablecloth, along with their their flatware and dinner.

Because guests don’t know where the party is until they arrive, twenty-four meeting points are set up throughout the city, where guides escort groups of about 100 people to the venue. Guests arrive, tables unfold, and the unspoken who-DIY’d-the-best competition begins: Three-course home-cooked meals, take-out moved from plastic to porcelain, sweets set up on tiered serving platters, twinkle lights raised on poles above tables, flower arrangements, wooden trellises — and that’s just the décor. White top hats, capes, custom-made body suits, wedding gowns, crop tops and white leather skirts, heels, flats, white jeans, canes — every outfit you can imagine, all in white. To mark the beginning of the party, everyone twirls their napkin in the air, a spectacle that, from above, appears like thousands of white gears turning in tandem.

To attend this exclusive event, there are several options. Members (those who are registered and have attended previous years of Diner en Blanc) register in Phase 1 starting August 7 at 12pm. If you have a friend who is a member, they can “sponsor” you, and you’ll register in Phase 2, August 9 from 2pm-midnight. If you have neither of those choices, you can volunteer to lead a group to a destination, or get on the waiting list and hope to register in Phase 3 (details here). Last year, 45,000 people were on the New York waiting list.

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