History of the Paris Dîner en Blanc: A Look Back

In 1988, the first official Dîner en Blanc took place in the Parc de Bagatelle in the Bois de Bulougne. Until 1991, the venue remained the same but numbers quickly escalated from 200 initially to 400, to 800 in 1990 and 1,200 in 1991. By 1992, it was necessary to conceal the location of the dinner and the current process of using point-people to coordinate a batch of tables and provide transportation to the event began.

2012: This year, festivities went all out. Two simultaneous dinners at Place des Vosges and Notre Dame. Then the next night, a third dinner took place at Versailles.

2011:  Surprise!  The first year the dinner was split into two locations, one at Cour Carrée, the back courtyard of the Louvre Museum, and the other  again at Notre Dame.

2010: Last year it was at the Carrousel du Louvre, stretching from the I.M. Pei pyramid to the Tuileries. Attendance was estimated at around 12,000.

2009: About 10,000 people descended onto Place de la Concorde:

2008: More than 9000 guests made it onto the sidewalks of the Champs-Élysées. Ben & Jerrys, the ice cream company, managed to make its way in time to serve dessert!

2007: A slightly smaller gathering of 8,000 at the L’Etoile, around the Arc de Triomphe:

Source: Frédéric Fleury

2006: Approximately 8,400 partied on the lawns of the Invalides:

Source: Culture Confiture

2004: In one of the smallest venues, the 2004  Dîner en Blanc was in the courtyard between the Palais Royal and the Louvre, just outside the Louvre-Palais Royal metro stop on the 1 line. Although the invites were considerably less, with 1400 attending, this dinner was nicknamed the “Sardine Dinner” (Dîner Sardine) because of how difficult it was to setup:

Source: Culture Confiture

In 1993, the intended destination had been the Invalides but in a rare crackdown from the police, the dinner was quickly relocated to the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower. In 1994, it was at the Louvre, marking the first time the event was reported on by the New York Times.  In previous years, it has also been at Madeleine:

Source: Culture Confiture

Notre Dame:

Source: Culture Confiture

The  Dîner en Blanc has also taken place at Versailles, the Pantheon, Trocadero, Pont-Saint Louis and Pont de Solferino. Untapped will be there on Thursday  night to report on this year’s festivities. It was rumored to be in an especially unique location this year, requiring a smaller attendee list of 8,000. It is also rumored to rain for the first time in the history of the  Dîner en Blanc!

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich

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