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Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 – The Year in Review!

The end of the year is fast approaching... And no matter where in the world you are, December is usually a time for holiday celebrations, and also the perfect occasion to reflect on the year that has just passed. 2018 was for the Le Dîner en Blanc family a year rich in emotion and also had a few debacles.

Producing Le Dîner en Blanc is an immense challenge that each hosting team takes on around the world. Between unpredictable weather conditions, introducing new teams and/or new cities to the concept, finding new secret locations, the challenge of large cities to remain attractive and for smaller cities to gain friends, Le Dîner en Blanc is definitely not an event like the others.

Through this retrospective, we wanted to congratulate and thank all these teams without whom, Le Dîner en Blanc could not exist and because of their involvement the event continues to grow and spread across the planet. Mille Merci to you all!
hain pour de nouvelles aventures… en Blanc !   

 

   

   
MAJOR EVENTS !

 

This year saw two very major milestones in the history of Le Dîner en Blanc: the 30th edition of Paris and the 10th anniversary of Montreal!

Founded in 1988 by François Pasquier, the idea behind Le Dîner en Blanc - Paris was to simply organize a picnic with friends and hold it a public place to be able to invite as many guests as possible. The all-white dress code was meant to allow guests to easily recognize each other. Over the years, the event has grown gathering between 8,000 and 12,000 guests, dressed as elegantly as ever in different prestigious Paris locations kept secret until the last moment. For the 30th anniversary edition and for the first time in its history, the circle of friends was expanded to welcome the many fans of the concept around the world. On June 3rd, 17,000 people - 5,000 coming from a multiple foreign destination - gathered on the Esplanade des Invalides. The national and international press were also at the rendezvous to report to the world this incredible event celebrating friendship and joie de vivre.

The very first Le Dîner en Blanc outside France took place in Montreal in 2009 when Aymeric Pasquier decided to import his father's concept to his new adopted hometown, therefore giving the event an international dimension for the first time. Over the past 10 years, the celebration has taken place in some of the most famous locations of the city: Old Port, Place des Arts, on McGill College Street… For the 2018 edition, guests took over Square Victoria, as a sort of homecoming since the 2nd edition had taken place there. More than 4,500 people came together to dine, mingle, dance and toast to this special anniversary. This last edition was also the last one for Aymeric Pasquier as host of the event. After 10 editions of Le Dîner en Blanc de Montréal, he is stepping down, leaving room for a new hosting team to take on the now well-established event for the following years.

THE "MUST-ATTEND" EVENTS

With its well-established tradition, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris is the event that year after year draws the larges numbers of returning members and new enthusiasts together, but some of the cities that joined the adventure a few years ago, are now approaching the Parisian success by making their Dîner the MUST-ATTEND event of the season in their city. Indeed, for a few years now, the editions of New York, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Sydney bring together more than 5,000 friends. These are incredible feats that the hosting teams manage to constantly bring something new to their events and can rely on the
Even though their number of guests is not as large, many other cities have also attained the status of ‘must-attend’ event: Mexico City, Abidjan, Kigali – all 3 made a highly anticipated return this year - Chicago, Toronto, Quebec City, Edmundston...


PREMIERES & 5th ANNIVERSARIES

Le Dîner en Blanc continues to spread all over the world as well as its notoriety. In 2018, a dozen of new hosting teams took up the challenge to celebrate the beauty of their city, their community and their joie de vivre. Inaugural events took place in Cartagena, Colombia; Taipei, Taiwan; Decatur, Memphis, Charlotte, Indianapolis and Wilmington, the United States; Trois-Rivières and South Georgian Bay, Canada; Madrid, Spain; Toowoomba, Australia as well as Nassau, Bahamas.

While some people discover the pleasures of sharing a meal with friends in an unexpected place for the first time, others see the tradition take hold. Indeed, many cities celebrated their fifth anniversary in 2018. This edition is an important milestone for the hosts. It is the moment for them to realize how far they have come since the first event, taking stock of the highlights from previous editions to continue to amaze their guests for years to come. This was the case for Auckland, Vilnius, Washington DC, Albuquerque, Los Angeles and Honolulu. For some, the 5th anniversary edition had an additional challenge as the hosting teams were organizing their first Le Dîner en Blanc: Atlanta, Boston and Johannesburg.


SOLD-OUT EVENTS

An event is organized in several stages, two of which are well distinct but very important. On the one hand, the announcement and all the preparations that surround it, and on the other the day of the event when the magic happens. When an event enjoys a strong word-of-mouth and remarkable reputation, it becomes very popular and sell out rapidly. Several Canadian and American cities fall under this category: New York, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Washington DC, Toronto, Okanagan Valley, Richmond, Seattle, Calgary...

MOTHER NATURE DISRUPTS THE PARTY!

Le Dîner en Blanc is a ‘rain or shine’ event. But ‘rain’ means a little rain or shower that adds spark to the party allowing guests to become a kid again and have mad fun in the rain. This magical rain invited itself to Le Dîner en Blanc in Brisbane. Although, it rained from the beginning to the end of the evening, guests came prepared and had a great time.


However, when Mother Nature decides to disturb the party, she does so in a big way. For the safety of all, three cities had to postpone their event due to tropical storms, hurricanes or heavy rain and winds: New Orleans, Charleston and Buenos Aires. She also made an unwanted attendance in Dallas, where the mercury slipped well under the seasonal norms, and in Budapest where a violent thunderstorm began just as guests were getting ready to dine. Fortunately, they were able to find refuge nearby and thus continue the festivities.



EVENTS IN NORTH AMERICA

Le Dîner en Blanc is truly a phenomenon in North America where nearly 50 elegant picnics were organized between the East and West Coast of Canada and the United States. The majority takes place during the months of August and September, the time of year when Mother Nature is the most cooperative.

Almost all US states have their own Le Dîner en Blanc from Florida: Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach to California in San Diego, Orange County, Sacramento via Long Island, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas... Same effect in Canada, almost every province celebrates this ode to summer in cities such as Fort McMurray, Victoria, Ottawa, Victoriaville...

ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD

Many Le Dîner en Blanc events are organized by the seaside or in cities with a year-round festive and holiday atmosphere such as Puerto Rico, Port of Spain in Trinidad Tobago, Panama City, and San José in Costa Rica.
For the first time in the history of Dîner en Blanc International, Monterrey in Mexico celebrated two events in 2018, one in March and another in November!


Australia has also been swept by the Le Dîner en Blanc phenomenon. Indeed in 2018, eight events took place in Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. In New Zealand, in addition to the anniversary edition for Auckland, Tauranga returned for a second edition.

Le Dîner en Blanc in Asia is also well established since, except for Taipei, all the other cities such as Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai were respectively presenting their 6th, 3rd and 4th edition, bringing together more than 3,000 people. In Africa, in addition to the Kigali and Abidjan events, Nairobi in Kenya celebrated its 4th edition!


2018 – AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR
 

In 2018, the magic of Le Dîner en Blanc has operated for more than 130,000 participants in 76 cities across 23 countries in the world!

It is with great pride that Dîner en Blanc International can count year after year on a series of well-established events and to see new cities join in the adventure. It is also an honour to daily admire and see the tremendous work done by the hosts, volunteers, partners and collaborators of these events without whom Le Dîner en Blanc would not exist.

Merci to all the guests, the more than 130,000 fans of Le Dîner en Blanc, who impressed us with their sense of fashion (we love it!), their large-scale table setting, but above all, their joie de vivre.

To all, we wish a very Happy Holiday Season!
See you next year for new adventures... en Blanc!

   

Dîner en Blanc International
 

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