French Canadian Fest brings back Diner en Plaid

Plaid is everywhere during the Festival du Bois |Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Plaid is everywhere during the Festival du Bois |Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

It’s like Dîner en Blanc–only much more colourful. And significantly less formal. In fact, there could be arm wrestling.

Dîner en Plaid is back on February 17 as part of the lead-up to the French Canadian Festival du Bois, which happens in the suburban Vancouver community of Maillardville from February 26 to March 1, primarily at Mackin Park in Coquitlam.

Produced by the Société francophone de Maillardville, Festival du Bois is the largest francophone event west of the Rockies. Last year, it held the first Dîner en Plaid, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Dîner en Blanc, the elegant event that originated in France in which thousands of people dressed entirely in white converge on a secret location.

With Dîner en Plaid, the dress code isn’t as refined: just grab some kind of plaid. The colourful flannel honours the lumberjack heritage of Maillardville and celebrate its French-Canadian pioneering history. (The “bois” in Festival du Bois means “wood”.)

Diner en Plaid | Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Diner en Plaid | Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Just like for Dîner en Blanc, people buy a ticket for Dîner en Plaid without knowing the exact location of the event. Last year, about 150 people gathered at the John B. neighbouhood pub in Coquitlam. This year’s location will be different, following the tradition of Dîner en Blanc.

While Dîner en Blanc reveals the venue mere hours before the event, the plaid version provides that information upon ticket purchase.

Diner en Plaid | Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Diner en Plaid | Photo courtesy of Festival du Bois website

Dîner en Plaid is also easier for guests to attend: unlike Dîner en Blanc, guests do not need to bring picnic baskets, tables, or linens and china with them; the organizers provide all that, as well as music and entertainment.

Guests also don’t need to bring food: they’ll enjoy poutine along with a choice of French Canadian pea soup or boeuf bourguignon, and a secret French Canadian dessert to follow.

Yellow Dog Brewing Co. | Facebook photo

Yellow Dog Brewing Co. | Facebook photo

There will also be craft beer available to keep the party going. Port Moody’s Yellow Dog Brewing, which is the Festival du Bois’ 2015 official beer supplier, has created a French Lumberjack Ale.

Guests must be 19 years or older to attend Dîner en Plaid. The evening kicks off on February 17 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the fundraiser cost $25 per person and include one beer; they’re available through the Festival du Bois website.

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