Imagine walking into the courtyard of the Louvre and suddenly spotting thousands of people busily preparing for one of the world’s largest al fresco dinner parties. You would think that it would be chaotic, but it’s not. Part of the cachet of the Dîner en Blanc is that not anyone, not even the official guests, are told the location of the dinner until a mere thirty minutes before the event. All of the guests are familiar with the rules governing the event and know exactly what must be done before the celebration can begin. For example, invitees must arrive and depart by bus or organized public transportation, allocate seats in a very specific manner, with men on one side and women on the other, and take all of their trash away with them when they leave. The diners must enhance the value of the public space by charming passersby with the unexpected rather than detracting from it. And, most incredibly, it works.
The organizers divided this year’s group into two to accommodate more than 11,000 participants – the Dîner en Blanc at the Louvre and on the Trocadero square in front of the Eiffel Tower. Shortly before 11:00 pm, thousands of people stood in unison and raised sparklers towards the sky just as the Eiffel Tower started to sparkle.