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Le Dîner en Blanc

Paris' secret renegade picnic takes its all-white affair to NYC

by Isabelle Doal in Culture on 20 June 2011

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Good weather in Paris always brings out an army of picnickers carrying folding chairs and baskets. But when Parisians-in-the-know descended on the Louvre courtyard last week, they were actually participating in an annual dining event that's some 20 years old. Known as "Le Dîner en Blanc, the city's clandestine dinner party attracts a crowd dressed entirely in white that comes together at an undisclosed location through a word-of-mouth campaign.

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The steadily-growing outdoor festivity makes a point to be as equally refined as it is fun, with guests dining on white linen at candle-lit tables, using cutlery brought from home. Live bands play in the background to crowds of over 8,000, who often end up dancing with sparklers in hand around the public space.

After successful picnics in Amsterdam, Berlin, Montreal and elsewhere, this year Le Dîner en Blanc is hitting NYC on 25 August 2011. Seating is limited to 1,000 guests—register for the wait list online and see more info at Le Dîner en Blanc's New York Facebook page.

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