Back for the 9th year, Dîner en Blanc NYC and its 5,000 plus guests filled the Nelson Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City on July 17, 2019.
Each guest, staff member, leader, sponsor and performer was dressed in all-white apparel. The guests brought their own food, drinks, tables, and chairs to assemble upon arriving at the secret location, which was disclosed a few hours before the event. Attendees and supporters anxiously met with their respective group leaders who then led them to the park.
“There’s a tremendous respect for the component of this being a secret location surprise — we’ve never had any of our internal staff tell anyone that they shouldn’t,” says NYC co-host, Linda Davis. It seems like everyone is on board with the surprise element of the worldwide event, which happens to make up a large portion of the experience.
Linda tells us that each year, Dîner en Blanc has been fortunate to have enthusiastic workers and volunteers who devote their time to ensuring the success of the event. Many are excited about keeping the secret and love to see the majestic white apparel transform the public space.
“The logistics are enormous. Finding a location and creating an environment without over staging it. Truly the guests are the palette of the evening. We do a lot of research for getting the guests to the secret location,” Linda says.
Before the thunderstorms and downpour of rain kicked in, guests had the chance to wave their clothes as a way to signify the start of the dinner. Some tables had extravagant centerpieces, decorations, and full course meals fit with cuisine from all around the world.
As the evening continued, there were various installations throughout the space including a few giant white globes that lit in the dark, various flower bouquets, giant themed balloons, along with walking mascots: a juggler on stilts and a few others dressed as angels, who also interacted with the guests. Among the sponsors were Citi Entertainment, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Sofitel, President Cheese, Taittinger Champagne. Some of the sponsors provided a few catering options and gave away novelties with certain VIP packages.
“While the city takes on its own personality, the structure and the integrity of the event remains the same in every city that it is offered in,” says Linda. The event unfolds in over 80 cities across the world including: Athens, Bankok, Budapest, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kingston, London, Madrid, Puerto Rico, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Zagreb, and more, bringing together communities of people from all walks of life, with the invitation to dine, socialize, and exchange life experiences. This particular scenario may ordinarily be impossible in such a hectic and overpopulated city.
“I actually think that this event was made for New York City. The city is so vibrant; it’s a showcase of the world,” says Linda.
The space was filled with great music, live performances, and of course a bit of dancing while mingling.
Unfortunately, the night ended early due to unforeseeable weather conditions, but we interacted with a few people who seemed to enjoy every aspect of the event.
The mission of the event remains to bring together all the communities in a very large and memorable way. “In the world there’s sort of a tendency to walk with your head down or not make eye contact or not say hello and that is not the case here at all,” says Linda.
The evening was presented by Citi Entertainment, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Sofitel, President Cheese and Taittinger Champagne.
For more information on future cities, click here.