Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris Gets Ready To Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary
Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris, launched in 1988 by François Pasquier and a handful of friends, has become a worldwide epicurean phenomenon. On June 3, the legendary event will celebrate its 30th anniversary when over 20,000 people dressed in elegant white gather at a secret locale to share a gourmet meal with good friends in one of the most beautiful Parisian landmarks.
To honor this landmark anniversary, in a series of exciting firsts, this year for the very first time some 20,000 guests will sit at the same tables making it a truly communal dinner — and the world’s largest Le Diner en Blanc.
Also marking the very first time in its storied 30-year history, participants from around the world will have a chance to attend the Paris event. And, in another first, there will be a waiting list for the Parisian event. Until now, the only way to attend was by invitation from friends, and friends of friends of friends. The wait list can be accessed at international.dinerenblanc.com/paris2018.
François Pasquier, founder and organiser of Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris, shares his plans for this very special edition, “We are expecting between 5,000 and 10,000 people from around the world. In total, there will be between 20,000 and 30,000 in attendance. There will be some thirty orchestras, as Le Dîner en Blanc includes numerous musicians. For the rest, I can’t give anything else away. The event has to maintain an element of mystery!”
Since its humble beginning in Paris the event has exploded in popularity and, in 2017, over 110,000 people attended in 30 countries across five continents. The history behind Le Dîner en Blanc is legendary. In 1988, after a few years abroad, François Pasquier returned to Paris and decided to hold a dinner party to reconnect with friends.
As so many people wished to attend, he asked them to meet at Bois de Boulogne dressed in all-white, so they would be able to recognize one another. The evening was such a success that guests not only wanted to repeat the occasion the following year but also wanted to invite more friends to attend. The concept of Le Dîner en Blanc was born.
Four years after its debut, the founding group of friends decide to bring their Dîner to Pont des Arts, in the heart of Paris (a first!). Knowing full well that local authorities would never allow such an event to take place there, and in order to ensure its success, they kept the location a secret until the very last minute, sparking a tradition that is one of the cornerstones of the events worldwide.
François Pasquier explains how the concept has evolved over the past three decades in Paris, “The basic concept has remained exactly the same: a gathering amongst friends. Over the years, we have put a special emphasis on the elegant, all-white dress code to liven things up. Our priority remains the quality of the Dîner, and not the quantity. But for this special anniversary we plan to do both at the same time!
It is the Dîner itself that is the show. We now have between 8,000 and 12,000 guests each year, depending on the location. The site itself always remains a secret: no one knows, not the guests and not even the police! We have never asked the authorities for permission and in thirty years, we’ve never had a problem.”
The event has proven to be such a beloved tradition that in 2017 Le Dîner en Blanc was held in close to 80 cities. The expansion of Le Dîner en Blanc began in 2009 when, after moving to Montreal, Canada, Aymeric Pasquier, one of François Pasquier’s sons, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and in August of 2009, held the first ever Dîner en Blanc in North America.
Following successful events in New York, Montreal and Quebec City, Aymeric Pasquier and Sandy Safi partnered in 2012 and established Dîner en Blanc International. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic worldwide. In each city, the event is produced by a team of local Hosts who are dedicated and passionate individuals who fell in love with the concept. Each host team shares a love for their city and want to celebrate its uniqueness with their friends and, the world.