Dîner en Blanc, the city’s annual and biggest outdoor dinner where diners get dolled up in white, is in 37 days. That means we’re 37 days closer to the big reveal of the dinner’s secret location.
That’s how the classy event works: The dining spot isn’t revealed until the day of the August 18 dinner. Last year, for example, diners still didn’t know where they were headed as they boarded buses that would shuttle them eventually to the Navy Yard.
With today being the last day to register for Phase 1 of the always long waiting list—Phase 2 and Phase 3 will follow—Curbed Philly took some time to chat with organizers Natanya Dibona and Kayli Moran to see if they could provide any ideas about this year’s super secret location.
"We’ve been saying that as the fifth event, we really want to have nods to people’s favorite things about past events," says Dibona. "And we definitely want to program our entertainment to the space."
For some hints, Dibona and Moran took a trip down memory lane and recalled what went into choosing each location for the past four years.
↑ Logan Circle (2012)
"Our event started in Paris 28 years ago. So we really wanted with the first event in Philly to have a nod to Paris. Kayli and I scouted six different spots, weighed the pros and cons, and Logan Circle was our top choice. It’s just so beautiful and has 360-degree view of everything that’s cultural and educational and iconic about the city. Plus, it was designed French landscape architect Jacques Greber."
↑ JFK Boulevard Bridge (2013)
Kayli: "The next year we knew we couldn’t repeat what we did the first year, but we could do something different on JFK Bridge in front of 30th Street Station. It really highlighted the lighting, the bridges, the water, and the architecture of 30th Street Station. It was also a nod to our French inspiration, since just being over the water feels European and romantic."
Natanya: "I work in the Cira Centre and look down at the space all the time. I noticed all the traffic patterns and that it was an under-utilized space. So that kind of made it stand out in my head. In addition the European feel, the old combined with new of Cira Centre, this was a unique way of looking at city in a way that people never have before."
↑ Avenue of the Arts (2014)
"Kayli and I always try to go to as many events as we can to meet city leaders or interesting people who are doing cool things in their city. It was the 20th anniversary of the Avenue of the Arts, and there was great presentation on how much Broad Street had changed in 20 years. [...] We thought we could really do a great job by showing off all that Broad Street offers if we had the event on the Avenue of the Arts."
↑ Navy Yard (2015)
"We had been hearing for years that people wanted a green space. They wanted to be in a park, so the Navy Yard was perfect. There’s the large green field on three sides with beautiful old trees and at the front there are two really old buildings. So at night when buildings are lit up and you’re surrounded by trees and grass, it really felt like a picnic."
↑ 2016: ???
Natanya: "I haven’t heard anyone guess it this year so far, which is always a good thing for us. It doesn’t seem to be on people’s list. [...] All I can say is that I try to look at French connection at every location.
Kayli: "And every year has a different feel from romantic to urban to green spaces."
So what’ll it be: Ben Franklin Bridge or somewhere along the Delaware River Waterfront? Perhaps somewhere in Fairmount Park? Wherever it is, it’ll have to accommodate 5,000 diners—the biggest crowd to date.
- Diner en Blanc [Official]