Saturday, September 6, 2014

Diner en Blanc DC

By Claire Goldman

Having been dubbed "DC's new Labor Day", District residents clad completely in white trekked down to Yards Park for and evening under the stars with 1,500 of their nearest and neighbors.  The foodie version of a flash mob, Diner en Blanc, came to DC for the first time this September.  The all white al fresco affair has become an international sensation from Paris to Sydney and select major cities in between.  

Moët Ice Impérial was flowing.

The exclusive event keeps guests on their toes.  The location is kept secret until an hour before when guests receive instructions to meet their Pedestrian Leaders at the metro for a trip with an unknown destination.  Confused fellow metro riders gawked at the mob of people dressed in white and schlepping tables, chairs and picnic baskets onto the train for the BYOE (bring your own everything) gathering.  Blanc party-goers were giddy with excitement when they arrived at the riverfront setting and began setting up their feasts, flowers and champagne flutes.

The signature (white) napkin waving signals supper time and the diners dig in.  A live band plays as the sun sets behind Nationals Stadium.  Once dinner is done, and sparklers are passed around and the ultimate photo-op of the evening occurs.  The band has been replaced by a DC blasting Ellie Goulding and guests "let it burn" and celebrate a job well done on the first Diner en Blanc DC. The elaborately costumed revelers danced into the night and over to the Marriot Marquis for the after party, presumably checking their folding tables and chairs at the front desk.

For more information on Diner en Blanc, go to  For photos of the masked, wigged and top-hatted Blanc diners and their fancy tablesettings search the hastags #DEBDC14 and #DinerenBlancDC and visit the event Facebook page.  I know I'll be keeping my finger on the DC Blanc pulse for any news of a repeat occurrence.

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