The 30 year Dîner en Blanc worldwide event was back on the first coast with revelers basking in their all white attire, decorative table ware and friends in tow for the secret entertainment location.
At 3 p.m. participants were informed that the location would be James Weldon Johnson Park located in the heart of downtown. Marching to their own beat, participants trail of white garments and carts holding food baskets, table décor and seating for a “chic picnic” in a public place. Each year attendees are able to create their own decorum with elegance and flair in the designated public place that serves as a background for a high profile evening event. Diners are required to provide their own food, tables, chairs and tablecloths. Popping champagne corks, the napkin wave, shining sparkles and grooving to the band is the gateway to socializing during the event.
“This is amazing. I’ve never seen so many beautiful people in Jax coming together to wine and dine, looking good too. This event will be one of my yearly favorites,” said Don Hughes, Dîner en Blanc first time attendee.
The Dîner en Blanc concept began in Paris in 1988, when François Pasquier invited a group of friends to an elegant outdoor dinner at the Bois de Boulogne, asking them to dress in white so they could find each other. The event’s presence has grown to over 85 cities, with almost 17,000 gathering for the 30th-anniversary event in Paris.
Pasquier’s son, Aymeric, introduced the concept to Montreal, Canada in 2009. In 2011, with the help of Sandy Safi, Aymeric Pasquier hosted the first American Dîner en Blanc in New York city. The event has grown to have an attendance of more than 6,500 with a waiting list of over 80,000 people. In 2012 Aymeric Pasquier and Sandy Safi partnered to create Dîner en Blanc International Inc., a Canadian company in charge of developing the Dîner en Blanc network and license worldwide.
In 2012, Singapore was the first Asian city to host a Dîner en Blanc, and Brisbane the first Asutralian city. Canberra held Dîner en Blanc in 2013 and 2014, and Melbourne debuted the phenomenon in 2015.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand were the only three countries to host the event.