Jul 27, 2023 - Things to Do

Epic Dîner en Blanc is back in D.C.

Diner en Blanc in Washington DC

Last year's luxe picnic party. Photo courtesy of Eric Vitale

Fancy flash mob picnic party Dîner en Blanc returns to D.C. on September 9.

Why it matters: Love it or love to hate it, the globetrotting fête is one of the most popular events of the year, attracting thousands dressed in their blanc best.

How it works: The all-white party thrives on mystery. A location is revealed day-of — typically somewhere huge and Insta-worthy, like the National Mall — and ticket-holders flock to the setting with everything for a grand feast (so yes, BYO tables, chairs, oysters, decorative birds, etc.)

  • Entry tickets ($52 per person) are available in phases: 1) Members who previously attended, 2) Their guests and sponsors, and 3) General admission. A $14 annual membership fee is required at the time of ticket purchase. Release dates are TBA.

New this year: The soirée is returning to its Parisian roots circa 1988 with more intimate forms of entertainment — musicians, performances, installations — in addition to DJs and dancing.

Zoom out: Dîner en Blanc visits roughly 80 cities worldwide. It arrived in D.C. in 2014, and has since popped up on the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue (the last one here was in 2021).

Diner en Blanc guests tote picnics to the site.
BYO everything! Photo courtesy of Eric Vitale

Zoom in: To throw a uniform party with 10,000-odd guests, the organization sets some guidelines. Everything is white (no ivory, please). Dress and food/drink follow elegant themes (e.g. wine and Champagne only, très français). A penchant for sparklers and napkin-waving is indulged.

What's next: There's a whole blanconomy coming with Le Dîner, including catered picnic dinners available from local restaurants; table/dinnerware rentals; and potential fashion collabs.

Flashback: Dîner en Blanc isn't affiliated with The Grand White, a copycat picnic party that last summer turned into the Fyre Festival of all-white parties in D.C. and other cities.

The bottom line: It may be hard to score a pass — past waitlists have stretched into the thousands — but it's worth a try.

  • As event organizer Linda Davis tells Axios, "It's not like Taylor Swift tickets."
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