On Saturday 4,500 people dressed entirely in white descended on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd Street, Constitution Avenue, and 6th Street, Northwest, for DC’s 4th annual Dîner en Blanc—an outdoor flash-mob picnic event. (Guests were informed of the location just a few minutes before the event’s scheduled start at 6:15 PM.)
Attire ran the gamut from white jeans and collard shirts or blouses to white suits, floor-length gowns, tulle skirts, and Derby-style headpieces. Entering the event, guests toted folding tables, white table clothes, white chairs, and elaborate white centerpieces (like pipe-and-drape, multi-tiered candle arrangements, and more), along with their dinner for the evening.
Dîner en Blanc had a waitlist more than 30,000 names long—and the few spots open to the public filled up within minutes of their release several weeks ago. The majority of spots were reserved for guests who’ve attended in previous years and their friends and family members. The $49 price tag included admission only (you provide your own seating, food, wine, etc.), and it didn’t support a charity either—the main reason the event has been criticized. A PR representative says in response that the dinner is one of the only events that exists purely for the fun of it. Eventually, the organizers hope to host it right on the National Mall.
In keeping with Dîner en Blanc tradition, the meal started with a symbolic waving of white napkins in the air and ended with every guest lighting up a personal sparkler. A live band was swapped for a DJ around 9 pm, and the fancy dinner turned into a late-night outdoor dance party. Below, photos from the event: