Are you ready to “recall the elegance and glamour of court society”?
Then get out your dress whites: the second instalment of Diner en Blanc is coming to Vancouver, Aug. 22.
The unique gathering brings together thousands of people, all dressed from head to toe in white, for an elegant, outdoor dinner. Guests bring their own white chairs and folding tables and white tablecloths, as well as their own picnic baskets with self-catered dinners packed inside.
And here’s the kicker: In flash-mob style, the location of the event remains secret until just minutes before the dinner starts.
Last year’s Diner en Blanc ended up taking place at Jack Poole Plaza adjacent the Vancouver Convention Centre. 1,200 people turned out for the sold-out event. The evening started with everyone waving their white napkins, according to Mia Stainsby, who reported on the event for the Vancouver Sun. Several hours later, it ended with guests lighting up sparklers to illuminate the night sky. Among the more unusual outfits worn by attendees were white tuxedos, white togas and even a white flying nun ensemble.
Tickets for this year’s Diner en Blanc ($30 per person; $35 with bus transport) go on sale some time this week. (Like many aspects of Diner en Blanc, ticket sales are shrouded in mystery and a bit of confusion.) The good news is that organizers have expanded the event to accommodate 2,500 guests this year. The bad news is there are already 12,000 people registered on the waiting list.
Attendees from last year get first dibs. Remaining tickets are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, with everyone on the waiting list notified by email.
If you don’t fancy bringing your own picnic basket, you can also opt for the catered dinner this year. For a surcharge of $25 or $50 (depending on meal options), guests can enjoy a dinner prepared by none other than Vancouver celebrity chef David Hawksworth.
Rumours are already stirring about the secret location of this year’s dinner. Organizers have let slip that the venue will be accessible by yacht. That means the final candidate has to be a waterside location capable of accommodating 2,500 people. Any guesses?
Diner en Blanc originated in Paris a quarter-century ago. Today, Paris hosts the world’s biggest Diner en Blanc, drawing 15,000 participants every year. Meanwhile, the concept has spread to more than a dozen cities around the world, including Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary in Canada.
Did you attend Diner en Blanc last year? How was it?
For more updates of happenings in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.