Le Diner en Blanc - 2017, a Year in Review
We are taking advantage of this moment to look back at the year, which was the most productive and busy at Dîner en Blanc International so far. 2017 will have brought the Le Dîner en Blanc Experience to more than 110,000 guests in 73 cities, in 27 countries around the world to celebrate a memorable evening with their friends in the spirit of elegance and sharing. The end of the year is fast approaching! It is the time of the year that goes perfectly with the values of Le Dîner en Blanc as we find ourselves in friendly gatherings between colleagues and friends, around delicious meals while savouring some wine or Champagne to celebrate the best things in life!
Now present on six continents, we would like to highlight the incredible work of our wonderful hosting teams without whom the magic of Le Dîner en Blanc would not exist.
From Paris to the Rest of the World: The Mythical Editions
At the root of Dîner en Blanc International, the Original: Le Dîner en Blanc - Paris, celebrated its 29th edition on June 8th at the famous Place de l’Hôtel de Ville gathering 8,000 guests. The Parisian event remains, to this day, the night that welcomes the largest number of guests around the world, but there are some cities that are getting closer to its record. Le Dîner en Blanc - Philadelphia hosted 5,300 guests at the famous Franklin Square, while the Sydney event matched this with their own 5,300 guests which make them both the second-largest gatherings after Paris.
The oldest editions after Paris are in Montreal, Québec City, and New York City, which held their first events between 2009 and 2011. Last August, these elegant soirees were as successful as ever! Close to 5,000 guests of Le Dîner en Blanc - Montreal invaded one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods, the streets of Old Montreal, just steps from City Hall. In Quebec City, 2,000 guests gathered at the Jardin St-Roch for a lovely evening, as one of the participants, Annie, testifies: “Our first experience was magical, amazing! And for the organisation, I’d give a score of 10/10!” An event that sold-out in record time, Le Dîner en Blanc - New York with its 5,000 guests dined at the Lincoln Center, in the heart of Manhattan!
For their 6th edition, the hosts of Le Dîner en Blanc - Vancouver were innovative by taking their 5,200 participants to not one, but two secret locations, the Harbour Green Park and the Devonian Harbour Park.
Six other North American and Australian cities also celebrated their 6th anniversaries: Cincinnati, Toronto, Chicago, San Diego, Brisbane, and Sydney. Once again, Le Dîner en Blanc - Sydney was absolutely wonderful. 5,300 guests gathered at the Brazilian Fields at the Centennial Park under a sunny and warm sky! The event has kept growing since its beginnings in 2012 with 1,500 friends gathered for the inaugural event in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Although these events celebrating their 6th anniversaries have already become local traditions, each year newcomers discover the magic as noted by one participant of Le Dîner en Blanc - Chicago: “First time at Le Dîner en Blanc - Chicago, I had a fabulous time, surrounded by old friends and new ones! And the place [on Fullerton Avenue] was incredible!”
A 5th edition: Party!
Fun fact: Edmundston remains the smallest city in the world to welcome Le Dîner en Blanc. With a population of about 18,000, this annual event has been gathering nearly 1,000 guests!
The fifth edition shows that the tradition is taking root in the city but also highlights the commitment and passion of the hosting team, the volunteers, and the guests. In 2017, 5-year anniversaries were celebrated in 8 cities in 4 countries: in New Orleans and Portland in the United States, in Adelaide in Australia, in Singapore, and finally, 4 Canadian cities, Okanagan Valley, Victoria, Edmundston, and Calgary.
Le Dîner en Blanc Keeps Enchanting New Cities!
Year after year, Dîner en Blanc International continues to welcome new cities and new countries. In 2017, 16 cities joined the adventure!
In the United States - the country that hosts the most Le Dîner en Blanc events in the world – the cities of Baltimore, Seattle, Richmond, Long Island, and Orange County launched their first editions. A participant at the Seattle premiere reports: “Le Dîner en Blanc - Seattle was a delightful and unique experience. By far, the best event of my summer!” A good omen for future editions!
Keeping in the Americas but heading to the south, Panama City in Panama, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and León in Mexico all experienced their very first picnic à la française. Overheard at the premiere in Buenos Aires: “It was beyond my expectations! It was a magical evening, and the energy was amazing!”
Australia and New Zealand are countries renowned for its outdoor living, thanks to their great climates and beautiful landscapes. It is not surprising that the passion for Le Dîner en Blanc keeps growing. In 2017, the white napkins were waved for the first time in Australia, Darwin, Gold Coast, and Fraser Coast, as well as in Tauranga, New-Zealand.
Elsewhere in the world, some premier events were celebrated: in Bucharest, Romania, Busan, South Korea and in Bangkok, Thailand and in Lagos, Nigeria.
Starting the Year in Style in the Southern hemisphere
Did you know that the first Le Dîner en Blanc of the year took place in Auckland, New Zealand on March 4th? The hosts had set the bar high for the following events by inviting guests to one of the most prestigious places in the city - the Pah Homestead - where they were entertained all night by some talented singers and musicians. According to the testimonies, the success of this edition is definite: “Wow! What a lovely night! The band was awesome and the singer was great!”
A few hours later, the same day in Australia - the country that after the United States and Canada hosts the largest number of Le Dîner en Blanc events - the year began with the celebrations of the 3rd edition of Melbourne where 2,200 guests gathered at the Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens. A few weeks later, the second edition of Le Dîner en Blanc - Perth took place with 2,000 friends at the iconic Fremantle Esplanade.
North America, Some of Our Biggest Fans!
North America is definitely the region of the world where most of Le Dîner en Blanc events take place. Canada and the United States together total more than 40 annual events. The beautiful summer season was particularly gorgeous this year, so most of the elegant picnics in North America happened between June and August.
In addition to the cities already mentioned above, many other American cities organized a Dîner en Blanc in 2017 such as Boston, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Charleston. Let’s highlight the fact that Le Dîner en Blanc - Washington will be remembered for years to come thanks to its prestigious location on Pennsylvania Avenue with a breathtaking view of the US Capitol!
Up in Canada, this year marked the return of Le Dîner en Blanc events in Halifax and Fort McMurray, as well as the second and the third editions for Victoriaville and Moncton.
Le Dîner en Blanc By the Water, It’s Possible!
Some cities with a warm and sunny climate were lucky enough to experience Le Dîner en Blanc in the best possible conditions, and sometimes they even found themselves on the beach. Dreamy! Kingston in Jamaica, San Jose in Costa Rica, São Paulo in Brazil, and San Juan in Puerto Rico are amongst them. You can see from the photos with the gorgeous scenery that it was beautiful to dine on these paradise beaches.
In the United States, a vast country with very diverse climates, several cities dine under palm trees like in Honolulu, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Sacramento, while others have very different landscapes lending to beautiful secret venues all across the country. Guests also enjoyed memorable nights in Albuquerque, Dallas, and Houston!
In the same area, we also find Haiti, and Querétaro in Mexico. Both returned in 2017 after a year absence, for two dazzling evenings under the stars.
Asia Charmed by Le Dîner en Blanc
The first Asian city to embark on the international adventure of Le Dîner en Blanc in 2012, Singapore has influenced many of its neighbors. Since then several countries have taken the plunge, like Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, China, and soon, Thailand. In 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul and Hong Kong celebrated their second editions, and Shanghai, its third.
Elsewhere in the World
On the European continent, Le Dîner en Blanc - Vilnius in Lithuania saw its 4th edition. Admittedly, the sky may have been overcast and the temperature not so warm, but the party spirit was clearly at the rendezvous! It was the same scenario for London where Le Dîner en Blanc returned after a year of absence. The guests gathered in the courtyard of the Somerset House, a neoclassical building in Central London, and had the rare chance to admire a double rainbow! Faring better with their weather conditions in Hungary, guests of Le Dîner en Blanc - Budapest enjoyed a sunny Saturday evening in early September for their 2nd edition.
Le Dîner en Blanc is also on the African continent. On March 18th, Le Dîner en Blanc - Johannesburg returned for a 4th edition at the iconic Nelson Mandela Square where 600 guests gathered. The 3rd edition of Le Dîner en Blanc - Nairobi took place on November 25th with 300 participants gathered at Fadhili Gardens. The night was unforgettable for multiple reasons: the guests’ elegance, the musical performances, and the general party ambiance - despite the few raindrops!
Even though 2017 was a year with unexpected, and sometimes tragic twists and turns, one thing is certain- celebrating life and friendship has and will always be a priority.
A huge MERCI to all - hosts, volunteers, guests - who make the magic happen. It is all thanks to your loyalty and enthusiasm.
Let’s do it all again in 2018!
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