Le Diner en Blanc is bringing a pop-up luxury picnic to Atlantic City, but everything BYO | Local News
ATLANTIC CITY — In June, the resort will join a global event called Le Diner en Blanc, which promoters call a celebration of public spaces, food and community.
Launched in 1988 in Paris, its website calls it a “chic secret picnic (which) has been celebrated in 120 cities in 40 countries around the world.”
Diner en Blanc Paris celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 with more than 17,000 attendees, according to the organization’s website.
“My dream has come true,” Mayor Marty Small Sr. said Monday at a news conference announcing the city’s inclusion for the first time. “We often say that we are not just casinos.”
“Everyone brings tables and chairs and it pops up,” said co-organizer Kayli Moran, from Philadelphia.
They also bring their own food and drink and gather in groups of 50 people around town to be taken on foot by volunteers to the secret dinner location.
The city’s world-class restaurants offer people a wide variety of take-out meals at Diner en Blanc, Small said.
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It takes place rain or shine, according to the Le Diner en Blanc International website, which has some pretty strict rules about the size of tables allowed and how attendees should dress.
“All guests should dress elegantly in white from head to toe,” according to the website’s FAQ page. “That means no ivory, no off-white and no beige…Originality is always encouraged, as long as it remains elegant and tasteful.”
And if it’s raining, guests must bring a white or transparent raincoat, a poncho and/or an umbrella, depending on the rules.
Some things are unknown so far, including the exact date – organizers won’t say it will be in June – and the cost to attendees.
The exact date will be announced closer to June, spokeswoman Kate Marlys said.
This will be the first Le Diner en Blanc event ever held in New Jersey, Marlys said.
Attendees pay an average of $55 per person, or $110 per couple, but the exact fee structure for the Atlantic City event has yet to be decided, said co-organizer Natanya DiBona, also of Philadelphia. .
“Your city has a great history and we will play on that,” DiBona said at Monday’s press conference.
the waiting list open Monday on the website and the first 500 couples who register receive an automatic phase one invitation, organizers said.
Marlys said there is no charge to join the waitlist, people only pay when they are ready to confirm their attendance.
Videos from previous events show people pulling coolers on wheels and with specially purchased small, lightweight tables and chairs slung over their arms.
In 2012, Le Diner en Blanc International was formed to encourage these events in cities around the world.
“It’s an experience of appreciating public space, good food and good friends,” Moran said.
Moran and DiBona have worked with the international organization for 10 years, they said, hosting events in Philadelphia. It’s not their full-time job, they said, but something they do because they love it.
In Atlantic City, there aren’t many places that can seat 1,000 or more outdoors, but the group doesn’t say where the location will be.
Organizers said the ticket price pays for performers, some decorations, security, portable toilets and permits.
The international organization is a for-profit corporation organized as an LLC, organizers said, but costs are being kept low to allow more people to participate.
Small said he pressured Showboat Hotel Atlantic City owner Bart Blatstein “to do more, do more, do more,” and Blatstein helped organize the Philadelphia Diner event. en Blanc to come here this year.
A year ago, organizers held the pop-up event for 3,000 people in Rittenhouse Square, Blatstein said, and then he floated the idea of coming to Atlantic City.
“The international has approved the event here, so we’re here today,” Blatstein said.
JOURNALIST: Michelle Brunetti