There are many summer events to look forward to this year — including a brand new, exciting Jersey City festivity. Le Dîner en Blanc, the popular Parisian-inspired pop-up picnic characterized by its famous all-white dress code, will take place in Jersey City for the first time ever this month on August 25th. The waiting list for this internationally-beloved event is open, and the official line-up of partners, performers, and artists has also been announced. Read on for what we know about Jersey City’s first Le Dîner en Blanc.
^Dîner en Blanc – New York, 2017 photo by Eric Vitale Photography
About Le Dîner en Blanc
Le Dîner en Blanc began in Paris in 1988 when François Pasquier, returning from a long stay abroad, had the idea to gather friends for a picnic. As the number of guests grew, he decided to hold the dinner in a public space and ask everyone to dress in all white to easily recognize one another. The event was such a success that they all agreed to repeat the experience the following year. Each year, the evening gathered more and more friends. Over the years, Le Dîner en Blanc has become one of the most sought-after culinary events around the world! What was once a ‘friends and word-of-mouth only’ event has grown into an international sensation celebrated on six continents.
Now, for the first time ever, Jersey City will welcome its very own Le Dîner en Blanc, thanks to local hosts Art House Productions in partnership with the City of Jersey City and The Office of Cultural Affairs. To participate in this first edition, guests must be invited via the hosts’ network or participating partners or get on the waiting list via the official website. To be part of this inaugural event, you can sign up now and click on the ‘Register tab.’
“Le Dîner en Blanc captures the spirit of friendship, community, and elegance,” said Meredith Burns, Executive Artistic Director of Art House Productions. “We love the history and anticipation of the Dîner en Blanc events around the world. We’re excited to bring a little piece of Parisian style to Jersey City and to add some Jersey City arts elements to Le Dîner en Blanc.”
A large part of the excitement surrounding Le Dîner en Blanc is the secrecy surrounding the event location, which is kept hush-hush until the very last moment. Guests are given a rendezvous to a departure point when they purchase their tickets. To uphold Le Dîner en Blanc’s tradition, attendees must dress head-to-toe in white and are requested to bring their own portable tables, white chairs, white table linens, tableware, and a gourmet meal.
As for drinks, beer and hard liquor are prohibited. As per Jersey City alcohol laws/regulations, guests cannot bring their own alcohol. Guests wishing to enjoy wine or champagne must reserve online from CoolVines Jersey City through Le Dîner en Blanc’s e-store. Guests are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages.
^ Dîner en Blanc – Gold Coast, 2018 photo by Josh Hamilton
The Line-Up of Partners, Performers, + Artists
The KRE Group, CoolVines, and The Office of Cultural Affairs in Jersey City have been announced as official partners of the Le Dîner en Blanc – Jersey City, according to a press release from August 2nd. Along with this announcement came a list of artists + performers who will serve as the entertainment on August 25th.
“Art House is proud to feature a fantastic line-up of artists, musicians, and dancers who will add to the immersive beauty and magic of this unforgettable night,” Art House’s Executive Director, Meredith Burns, said. “We’re looking forward to celebrating the best of what our region has to offer naturally, culturally, and artistically at the first annual Le Dîner en Blanc – Jersey City.”
The list of artists and entertainers ranges from visual artists to dancers and musicians. The night starts off with performance and visual artist Christy O’Connor (ChaShaMa, Mana Contemporary), who will be at the entrance to greet guests dressed as the French Queen, Marie Antoinette. Choreographer morgaine de leonardis (Then She Fell, SMUSH Gallery, Aviva), along with her team of dancers, will put together a dance performance for the evening. There will also be 3D light sculptures from New Jersey artist Sunil Garg (Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, Index Art Center), as well as a projection light event put on by Melissa Ulto (Blue Man Group, Getty Institute).
The Big Lazy (Vancouver International Jazz Festival, This American Life), an instrument trio, will play a blend of different styles of American music during the dinner — and afterwards, Jersey City’s own DJ Paul Mendoza (Snow Ball Gala, LITM, Jersey City Pride) will perform for everyone to dance along.
About the Hosts of Le Dîner en Blanc – Jersey City
The hosting team behind of Le Dîner en Blanc – Jersey City is composed of Meredith Burns, Christine Goodman, and Mira Prinz-Arey from Art House Productions. Art House Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to the development and presentation of the performing and visual arts in Jersey City, NJ. Art House Productions presents theater, performing and visual arts festivals, arts events, visual art exhibitions, and adult and youth art classes.
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About Dîner en Blanc International
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Dîner en Blanc International is responsible for developing this secret posh picnic in over 120 cities in 40 countries around the world. Each event is headed by passionate local organizers who fell in love with the concept and wanted to bring it to their city, giving this rendezvous a local flair.
To find the full details on the rules and regulations, you can click here.