For years I had to listen to my fancy friend in New York talk about his experiences at a too-French-to-be-true tradition, Dîner en Blanc. As the story goes, everyone who is accepted to attend stands at the ready, traveling picnic in-hand, clad in white until the mystery location is revealed. Then, everyone descends on the venue and a party breaks out. I.was.jealous. Why didn’t Dallas have their own annual trés chic picnic? N’est pas juste.
The tradition began in France in 1988 when François Pasquier came back from a long trip and invited his friends to meet at a park and have a picnic. He decided to have the event annually and invite people to bring friends. It got so big that the cops began to shut them down before they began, so his solution was a last-minute venue revelation; the attendees would know each other thanks to their uniform–all white. His family and friends expanded the event to other cities over the years, and now more than 10,000 people attend picnics throughout the world every year.
2015 was Dallas’s first Dîner en Blanc, and it was quite a party. Everything is bigger in Texas, so the first year boasted almost 1,200 participants (a large inaugural dinner for a city), on the Ronald Kirk Bridge (formerly the Continental Avenue Bridge). We ate, we drank, we danced, we drank more, and we watched fireworks. Il était parfait.
Guests are required to wear all white and encouraged to get creative with their dress. The post-Labor Day white clothing ban be damned! Last year I donned a Marie Antoinette wig that landed me in the Huffington Post. (My outfit from last year will be tough to top this year. Pun completely intended.) The white-washed palate makes the idea of red wine somewhat terrifying, though.
Video by Rico Deleon
This year, the date has been revealed (Friday, September 30) and the “interest list” has been opened. Run, don’t walk, to vie for a spot. This exclusive event will have only 2,200 spaces and they’re released in phases–they begin with friends of the hosts/hostesses, then friends of those friends, and then the public applications are reviewed.
Tickets to attend are $37 and include transportation to and from the location and a designated space at the event. Only members can attend, and membership is $8 per year and members are given the chance to attend consequential years. You are expected to bring your table, chairs, table decor, food, and drink … and take it with you when you leave. Tables and chairs can be rented on-site and food and drink can be pre-ordered and picked up at the start of the event.
Rendez-vous au dîner!
Dîner en Blanc – Dallas
Friday, September 30, 2016 – 6:30pm
***Header image courtesy of Dîner en Blanc Dallas.