All-White Picnic Pop-Up Dîner en Blanc Is Back This Summer

Attendees dress in white and bring their own picnic and white table settings to a secret location.

DC's 2017 Dîner en Blanc on Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo by Evy Mages

Grab your white shoes and white pants… and white cloth napkins… and white table… and white chairs. After a pandemic hiatus, the French-inspired pop-up picnic Dîner en Blanc returns to DC on Saturday, August 21.

If you’re not familiar with the al fresco affair, basically it works like this: All attendees must dress head to toe in white—not ivory or (gasp!) cream—and bring their own “gourmet meal,” cutlery (no plastic!), and place to sit. No one knows where the event is held until the day of event. When the signal goes out, thousands haul their all-white ensembles to the secret location to dine next to strangers, dance, and twirl their napkins in the air. At the end of the night, everyone packs up all their stuff, in theory, leaving no trace behind.

The last DC Dîner en Blanc took place at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave, but previous venues have included Nationals Park, Yards Park, and the lawn of the Carnegie Library (now an Apple store). All we know this time around is that the the event will include 4,500 guests along with “unexpected surprises, performances, installations, and festivities.” First dibs on the $58 tickets go to previous attendees, followed by anyone they sponsor. Already, there’s a waitlist.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.