Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia: Navy Yard Edition

Thank you to the 4,500 attendees who donned ponchos, toted white and clear umbrellas and brought their most positive attitudes to brave the rain on the Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the site of the Fourth Annual Diner en Blanc Philadelphia.

Welcome to the Navy Yard

Navy Yard Front Gates, 1929


Braving the rain with a smile

Ravishing ladies in white at the Navy Yard

Ravishing ladies in white at the Navy Yard (photo credit HughE Dillon)

Thursday’s weather thwarted many of our plans, including using over 60 uplights designed to illuminate the trees and historic buildings along the perimeter of the grounds.  The rain also caused technical difficulties which delayed Martha Graham Cracker’s performance by an hour. Thank you to the entire band for their patience and flexibility and to DJ Sabeel Chohan for starting the dancing early and keeping it going strong after!


(Photo credit Kory Aversa)

Despite the grey skies and falling rain, we hope our passion for- and appreciation of- this year’s space radiated through! Many members of our planning team are familiar with the Navy Yard as the site of the Broad Street Run‘s Finish Line (note the sign that greeted 2,100 of the attendees who walked through the Navy Yard gates!)

Almost there!

Almost there!

Several us have friends or loved ones who work at one of the many companies that now call the Navy Yard home (from the headquarters of Urban Outfitters to GlaxoSmithKline, Tasty Baking Company and RevZilla, to name just a few) and a few of us remember childhood stories of grandparents who worked there. No matter the frame of reference, the Philadelphia Navy Yard holds an important place in the history of the city and a dynamic role in its future.

The planning team's badges were based on Natanya's great uncle's Navy Yard badge

The planning team’s badges were based on Natanya’s great uncle’s Navy Yard badge

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the US Navy – President George Washington signed the Naval Act here on March 27, 1794- and where the first 6 ships were built to defend our country. The Philadelphia Navy Yard moved from its original site in the city’s Southwark neighborhood to the current site in 1876. As the buildings were constructed, they were numbered with a shield to mark their chronological order- at one point totaling 1,000 buildings.

Marines in Formation

Marines in Formation

The beautiful buildings that frame the Marine Parade Grounds are former marine barracks; Building 101, built in 1911 and Building 100, built in 1901 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Building 100

Building 100

Recognize Building 101?

Recognize Building 101?

Marc Vetri’s restaurant, Lo Spiedo, is housed in Building 500 at the gates of the Navy Yard.

Lo Spiedo's entrance

Lo Spiedo’s entrance

Other buildings inhabited by Urban Outfitters range from some of the Navy Yard’s oldest (3, 7, 12, 15) to building 543, which holds their cafeteria, café, fitness center and campus commons.


DEBPHL's hat tip to the Numbered Building SIgns

DEBPHL’s hat tip to the Numbered Building SIgns (photo credit Johanna Austin)

World War II saw the busiest years for the Philadelphia Navy yard- at one point employing over 40,000 Philadelphians, constructing 53 warships and repairing over 1,200. To keep up morale during the war years, the Philadelphia Navy Yard Development Association formed the Navy Yard Band and organized lunchtime shows, with entertainers ranging from Esther Williams to John Wayne.

Navy Band performing in 1941, and Mad Beatz performing in in 2015

Navy Band performing in 1941, and Mad Beatz performing in in 2015 (second photo credit Johanna Austin)

Battleship NJ

Battleship NJ

Martha Graham Cracker (dressed as Marilyn Monroe- who performed many USO shows- along with her band dressed as sailors) performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in honor of Judy Garland, who performed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1944.

Martha Graham Cracker performs for the crowd

Martha Graham Cracker performs for the crowd (photo credit Johanna Austin)

Some of our nods were subtle…

The first hint for many

The first hint for many

While others were a little more obvious (thank you, Roddy Caravella and the Canarsie Wobblers!).

Love those Wobblers!

Love those Wobblers! (photo credit Charles Mosteller)

We threw in a nod to Sailor Jerry’s naval tattoos with our own versions and “tattoo artist” on site.


(photo credit Charles Mosteller)



We even celebrated the return of the Army-Navy Game to Philadelphia this December by sending Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick– megaphone in hand- out into the crowd to give away three sets of tickets to the game (courtesy of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau) to the most spirited couples. (This was a particularly tough task since anyone who dines and dances in the rain already has a lot of spirit!)

Some of the Most Spirited winners!

Some of the Most Spirited winners! (photo credit Kory Aversa)

This year’s event, as indicated by the “Philadelphia Neighborhoods” Preview Party theme in June, was all about showing off a different part of Philadelphia, and we are so thrilled we did! Many thanks to John Grady, the President of PIDC, Amy Schultz, Jennifer Tran and the AlliedBarton team for giving us the opportunity.

Harry Truman's historic toss

Harry S. Truman’s coin toss at the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on
December 12, 1950

Fun Fact:  A tradition since 1890, the first Army-Navy game was held in Philadelphia at Franklin Field in 1899. Due to the historic nature of the city and the fact that it is approximately halfway between West Point and Annapolis, the most games (85) have been played in Philadelphia with Navy winning 43 of those games!

For more information click here , or to take the Navy Yard walking tour go to this link.

Winner, Winner, en Blanc Dîner: Contests, Judges, and Prizes!

Let’s face it, when it comes to a night out in the town of Philadelphia with 4,500 of your closest friends garbed in all white, sipping and sparkling, dancing and drinking… we’re all winners. To stick with the time honored tradition, … Continue reading

#DeBHacks: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia

Wow. This year brings Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia to it’s fourth year, and so far we’ve livened up Logan Square, rejoiced on JFK, and boogied on Broad Street. While we’re all anxious to find out where we’ll be celebrating August 20th, 2015, there are a few things we DO know. Sure, you can check out most of them on the Official FAQ Page. But, we’ve collected a handful of tips and tricks over the past three years that might not qualify as “official”, but have certainly saved us a few spills, blisters, hangovers, and turn-style traffic jams along the way!
  1. Less is More Sure, the past winners of Dîner en Blanc’s Most Elegant Table competition have gone above and beyond when it comes to table settings. But for most of us… We’re doing our best to haul our tables, chairs, eats, and drinks without spilling anything on our white frocks! With maximum 32×32 inches of space to work with, consider the concept “Less is More.”Instead of loading your table with different serving dishes, why not use your vertical space to hold your meal and dessert like this resourceful duo did?
    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Your meal is just one small portion of your evening, so pack light and save yourself some energy for dancing!

  2. ABC: Always Be Closing Charging Let’s face it, you’re gonna want to be snapping photos, texting your friends, taking videos, Instagramming, and Tindering Tweeting all night.
    This guy gets it (Photo credit to Carmen Von Wrangell!)

    This guy gets it (Photo credit to Carmen Von Wrangell!)

    Make sure your phone is charged for the evening AND if you’re snap happy and sapping data and energy, consider a portable charger (this one even comes in silvery white!)

  3. Tote-ally About the Totes Sure, they look like your friends. But you just try wheeling your roller cart through the turn-style on one of Philly’s subway lines (or don’t, trust us.) Totes are your friend.
    For instance, nab one of these insulated #DEBPHL bags! Free with catering, sold at the DEB Popup Shop August 5th at Williams-Sonoma!

    For instance, nab one of these insulated #DEBPHL bags! Free with catering, sold at the DEB Popup Shop August 5th at Williams-Sonoma!

    Really, anything that you can carry on your back and arms is going to serve you well come August 20th, 2015 Remember: Less is More!


    These folks get it! (Photo Credit to the Private Paparazzi)

    And just keep in mind, you’ll eat and drink your food and beverage, making it that much lighter on the way home!

  4. It’s a Marathon, Not A Sprint
    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Photo credit to Alessandra Nicole

    Keep in mind, the night has only just begun when you sit down for dinner. Sure, there’s dessert. There’s also exploring, dancing, and finding all your friends to snap photos with (see Point 2). Don’t burn out too early! We recommend: –Flats for the ladies – if you choose to wear heels, sneak some white Solemates in your purse! –Leave your headquarters – Once you’ve eaten, take some time stroll around and explore. As is the case every year, the DEBPHL team has lots of surprises up their sleeves, and we want you to see them all! –HYDRATE! And not just with wine. Bring water. Drink water. Be happy .

  5. Trash Bags are NOT Trashy
    That CVS Bag is a good start!

    That CVS Bag is a good start! (Credit to the Private Paparazzi)

    Take however many trash bags you think you need. Add 1-2 more. White trash bags are ubiquitous at Dîner en Blanc. They can be used for everything from the typical (trash!) to the less typical: –Insulation for your glass or porcelain -Way to keep dirty dishes and linens separate -Last minute rain coverage for your hair or outfit Really, really cheap purse Just use your imagination. But also: use your trash bags! In order to keep this event going year after year, the picnic participants do a great job of leaving the space the way we left it.

  6. Expect the Unexpected
    Always a wise investment

    Always a wise investment

    It’s a giant party in Philadelphia where everyone is wearing white. Murphy’s Law will be in full effect. You’re gonna see spills (hazards of red wine!). You’re gonna burn your table cloth with your sparkler. A button could break, or a zipper. It might rain. Do your best to be prepared for anything:

    -Bring binder clips to hold down your table cloth on a windy night. 

    -Keep your candles in a hurricane glass in order to avoid blow outs.

    -Stemless wine glasses are a great way to minimize spills.

    -Pack a small “DEB Emergency Kit”: Contents: Tide-to-go Pen, safety pins, bandaids, gum/mints (we have had a handful of love connections made at DEBs in the past, better be ready!)

    Poncho and umbrella: Best way to ensure that it will NOT rain? Every single person bringing clear or white ponchos and umbrellas. Seriously, works like a charm.

This list is not exhaustive. HOWEVER, we’d love to hear your best tips and tricks for this magical evening! Comment here, OR Tweet @DEBphl with your #DeBHacks to be featured on this blog post!!

Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia Preview Party – 2015

Dîner en Blanc is all about tradition. From the napkin wave to the sparklers to the the secret location and the dress code, we love our customs. One of our very favorites, however, is the announcement of the picnic’s date at our annual Preview Party. In the past, we’ve hosted it at Williams-Sonoma to great fanfare. This year, though, with the growth of the picnic, we also had to allow our Preview Party some space to grow. And grow it did.

Thankfully, we managed to snag the perfect spot at South Street Headhouse District’s beautiful Shambles, which made the ideal open-aired backdrop to a festive evening on June 9th celebrating Philadelphia’s iconic neighborhoods through our annual table decorating contest, the incredible caterers for this year, and, of course, the vendors and entertainment Dîner en Blanc so very magical!

The folks from DiBruno Brothers kept the cheese and meats flowing!

The team from Di Bruno Brothers kept the cheese and meats flowing!

Our fashion-forward friends from Duke & Winston helped us announce the date of this year’s picnic true-to-style, in beautiful white shirts, as well as our hashtag #DEBPHL15 (spread it like wildfire!)

Clearly, we were excited.

Clearly, we were excited.

DJ Sean Smoove kept the tunes going all evening as guests were treated to an evening of tasty treats and magical table settings. Our wonderful caterers for the evening included Garces Events, Luke Palladino Catering, and a wonderful spread from Di Bruno Brothers.

Garces Catering

Garces Catering

The Garces chocolate chip cookies with sea salt were a HUGE hit!

The Garces chocolate chip cookies with sea salt were a HUGE hit!

Luke Palladino himself, doling out samples to hungry DEB fans

Luke Palladino himself, doling out samples to hungry DEB fans

We were also treated to some adult beverages courtesy of DEB sponsor Apothic Wines.

A bottle of red... A bottle of white

A bottle of red… A bottle of white

Our main event, of course, was the annual table decorating contest and this year, the competition was fierce. So fierce, in fact, that we had to bring judges in from all walks of life (and industry): Anuj Gupta from Reading Terminal Market, artist and fashion maven Denise Fike, Gregory Augustine from August Interiors, Sheena Lester, Arts and Culture editor from Philadelphia Weekly, and Tom Hawthorn from The Shops at Liberty Place.

With the theme of Iconic Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the teams really went all out.

Marsha Flowers representing Kensington/Fishtown

Marsha Flowers Events representing Kensington/Fishtown

Claudia Roux of Petit Jardin en Ville representing Society Hill

Claudia Roux of Petit Jardin en Ville representing Society Hill

Kendall Halpern and Jessica Mogardo bringing Chinatown to the table

Kendall Halpern and Jessica Mogardo bringing Chinatown to the table

Lee Shuman & Sydney Waldron representing Graduate Hospital

Lee Shuman & Sydney Waldron representing Graduate Hospital

Marie Fritz channeling Rittenhouse Square

Marie Fritz channeling Rittenhouse Square

Cristina Petrescu’s Logan Square table

Cristina Petrescu's Logan Square table

Tanti Lina and Carolina Park from PAPERTINI bringing Fairmount culture to their table

The People’s Choice award went to Laura Eaton and Stacey Gross from Soiree Philadelphia and sWg Events, who collaborated on this marvelous Old City table.


But the Judge’s Choice went to Nadine Louw and Lianna Liss from Flowers & Co., who brought Northern Liberties to life through their creative table setting.

Table6To the winners go the glory… but also, the prizes!

Talk about swag

Talk about swag

We would like to thank our generous donors for their contributions to our winners:

We wouldn’t be able to keep this epic contest going without each of them, and appreciate their support more than words can describe!

To everyone who came out, hope you were able to enjoy a little taste (literally) of what’s to come August 20th. Don’t worry, we’ve got more surprises up our sleeves, so keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter, and get excited for Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia 2015!

Congratulations to our Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia 2014 Contest Winners!

Every year, Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia, holds three contests in search for the Most Elegant Female, Most Elegant Male, and Most Elegant Table. Competition is always tough, but there are some individuals who go one step further to capture the true essence and … Continue reading

A few notes of thanks… Part I

A few notes of thanks…

The Quest for the Location, the City of Philadelphia and Avenue of the Arts, Inc

The end of our third Dîner en Blanc “season” has passed and a very, very long list of thank you’s is once again in order.

First and foremost, we have to thank the City of Philadelphia for embracing Dîner en Blanc.  Not only for  allowing such an amazing event to take place on the Avenue of the Arts, but for working with us over a period of four months to ensure that it was executed safely and with all of the necessary and proper supports.  Specifically, we must thank: Margaret Hughes, Bob Allen and the Managing Director’s Office Special Events.

The plan for this year’s location was grand and ambitious.  The seeds for the idea were first planted when we attended the Avenue of the Arts 20th Anniversary celebration last October.  We listened as numerous speakers recounted what Broad Street was like 20 years ago- how it was devoid of business and lacked pedestrian activity.  We left that event, crossed on to Broad to return home, and marveled at the amazing place the “Avenue of the Arts” had become 20 years later.  We were also aware of the 50th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet and the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and believed the time was right to really celebrate all the “arts” that make the Avenue of the Arts so special.  We also looked at the magnificent architecture that lined many blocks of this street and couldn’t wait to show off the Union League, the Academy of Music, The Kimmel Center, the Bellevue, and of course, City Hall, to thousands of people seated before them.  Always looking for a nod to our event’s French heritage, we also knew that the City of Lyon, France was credited for the inspiration for  the lighting displays that had adorned the buildings of South Broad street since 2008.

The vision for our celebration of this beautiful location, of course, could not have been possible without the support of Avenue of the Arts, Inc.  We first met with Paul Biedemann, President and CEO of the council, in May.  It only took a brief explanation of our vision and a few pictures of previous DEB events to prove to him this would be a great thing for the Avenue.  In the months between our first meeting and the event, we carefully monitored the upcoming events on the Avenue (noting there were no performances scheduled for that night at the Kimmel Center, the Academy of Music, the Wilma Theater or the  Merriam Theatre) and outlined a plan to notify businesses affected in the area.  At all times the best interest of the businesses affected was the top priority of Paul and Avenue of the Arts, Inc.


Always at the center of our plan was the opportunity to highlight the rich arts and cultural heritage of the Avenue.  We wanted this to be unmistakably clear as diners entered Broad Street from all directions.  On the steps of the Academy of Music we had members of The Philadelphia Dance Academy Performance Ensemble:  Megan Butler, Sabrina Faith, Jennifer Lameo and Megan Quinn.  At the corner of Broad and Spruce we had Anthony Riley singing the Sounds of Philadelphia in a nod to Gamble and Huff.  Along the Avenue we had roaming musicians and performers including: magician Justin Relkin, guitarist Todd Pritchard, altoist David Puryear, and members of Hot Club Philly: Barry Wahrhaftig, Phyliss Chapell and Rick Shyrock.  In the middle of the street median we had Santiago Galeas, a painter and student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, painting the scene at the corner of Locust-one of the most popular corners for brides and grooms to pose long Broad street.  Outside of the Union League, the Polish American String band posed for pictures before marching south on Broad Street, leading the napkin wave with the sounds that traditionally fill the street on New Year’s Day.


Throughout the evening, guests listened to music that celebrated Philadelphia’s rich music history, including Jill Scott, Hall and Oats, Patti LaBelle, and Boys II Men.  We celebrated the jazz and soul of the city with live performances from Ernest Stuart and members of The Sermon!, as well as Eastwick Commandoes Drum Corps.  DJ Bruce, with his booth framed by the iconic LOVE sign (thank you Maggpie Vintage rental), played tunes until the evening concluded with the sound of Will Smith’s “Summertime” and the launch of confetti canons reminiscent of ticker-tape parades that have graced the Avenue during so many sports celebrations before it.


All of this talent, as well as production, could not have been possible without Brian and Brendan of Mole Street, Adam Spivak, Bauder Sound, and Light Action Productions. They provided the nuts and bolts (and light bulbs and speakers!) which helped a vision and dream become a reality. Brian and Brendan have been great partners for the past three DEBs, and they always bring an amazing enthusiasm and creativity to the table. Adam appeared like a fairy godmother in our inbox one day, and he waved his magic fairy wand and helped us transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Thank you, thank you!


Read on for Part II

A few notes of thanks… Part II

A few notes of thanks…

The People

A very special thank you must go to Kory Aversa of Aversa PR and Events.  This year, more so than even the first and second years, Kory truly felt part of the planning team.  Not only did he attend a team planning meeting, the Preview Party and help round up talent for the Pop-up Shop, but we take full credit for the degree in “crisis management” he earned while representing us this summer.  Kory has always gone above and beyond what was necessary to communicate the facts of the situation and underscore the true mission of our event.  We also can’t thank his staff enough for their support leading up to the event (love those countdown pictures, Lauryn) and their execution at the event:  Lauryn Resotka, Gabbi Townsend, Eri Washington and Dashiell Sears.

No amount of thank you’s could possibly be said to the 100 plus volunteers (group leaders, table hosts and on-site volunteers ) who supported our event this year. We absolutely cannot do this event without them. We must also specially thank our 7 member planning team who worked with us from April until August to brainstorm, create, and execute hundreds of ideas from the LOVE sign to seating charts, from hashtags to responding to tweets, from printing signs to measuring spaces in the dark at 5 am. Jennifer, Juli, LeeAnne, Mirka, Neil, Sabina, and Sydney: thank you for enduring so many hours of long conversations with nothing to eat but Swedish Fish and Peanut M&M’s. You are both the wheels and the fuel that makes DEB possible.

Which leads us to… THE EVENT


The Event

Thank you again to everyone at the City of Philadelphia and Avenue of the Arts, Inc. for their support and hard work leading up to the event and the day of the event.

– To those at the Kimmel Center, especially Casey and Dave, thank you for helping us weather those few last minute problems 🙂

– For the third year in a row, thank you to Garces Catering for offering three gourmet meals to guests. Thank you Nick, Beth, and Adam for the many conversations, long hours, last minute requests, etc.

– Thank you to DiBruno Bros and Amy for another year of deliciosio cheese and charcuterie platters. While many of the guests prefer to shop at one of your stores, there were plenty who loved the convenience of your catering options

– Thank you to the beautiful and creative Dom Streater for designing our dresses. We had so much fun during all stages of the process – viewing the sketches, selecting the fabric, the fittings, and the final unveiling. Thank you for your time, your talents, and your enthusiasm!

– Thank you Lillet for keeping the media refreshed throughout the evening and participating in the pre-DEB events

– Thank you to Petit Jardin en Ville for adding color to the en blanc ensemble with your gorgeous flower arrangements

– To our friends at Arway Linens for the endless supply of white linens

– Our favorite printer, Mike Browne at Next Century Printing: printed words are not enough to express our thanks!

– A special thank you to Meghan McGarrigle and the staff of Philly in Focus for their beautiful video from this year’s event

– Ed Seiders and the staff at Branded Productions for documenting the event from ground level and the high above for our official video

– Roland Sotello for the beautiful white car parked in front of the Kimmel Center

– Thank you to Javier Arceo at A2 Strategies for working with us to source the amazing insulated white tote bags and this year’s #DEBPHL14 wristbands

– Thank you to The Modern Photobooth and Premium Entertainment and NJ Photo Booth Rentals for helping guests capture those picture perfect moments

– To our photographers: Johanna AustinArt, HughE. Dillon, Charles Mostoller Photography, Alessandra Nicole Photography, and Inna Race Photography. Thank you for the being in the right spot at the right time and creating those visual memories of the many moments of the evening.

– To the “Most Elegant” Contest Judges: Jeffrey Acker, Conni Alexandrian McDonnell, Carolee Cook, Ian Michael Crumm, Courtney Lapresi, Brenda Oliver-Morgan, Penny Ordway, Nicole Paloux, Sabir Peele and Vincent Vienne. Thank you for your time and helping spread the elegance that evening.

– Thank you to our “Most Elegant” Contest Sponsors: Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue, Philadelphia, Sofitel Philadelphia, Townsend Restaurant, Eviama Life Spa, Duke & Winston, France Magazine, Touché Accessories

– A special thank you to Sofitel Philadelphia, Vincent Vienne, General Manager, and his Staff for hosting the amazing after-party


And, of course, none of DEB would be possible with the advice and support of Dîner en Blanc International and Aymeric Pasquier, Sandy Safi, Jessica Dorval and Annie Moonien


Read on to learn more about the activities leading up to the final day… Part III

A few notes of thanks… Part III

A few notes of thanks…

The Planning

The success of Dîner en Blanc would not be the same without the numerous events and activities that go into promoting it throughout the “DEB Season.” Photos from these events can be found on Susan Scovill’s website who graciously covered the events listed below:

Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia Preview Party:

On June 4th we kicked things off with a Preview Party at Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue that featured the table decorating contest theme, “Iconic Philadelphia”.  Thank you to the contestants: Gabriella Nemati   (Natures Gallery Florist) and Mirka Cortes; Tanti Lina from Papertini Floral and Event Design; Laura Eaton from Soiree Philadelphia and Kristina Erfe Pines of Daily Ampersand ; Claudia and Vincent Roux from Petit Jardin en Ville; Marie Fritz; Marsha Flowers from Marsha Flowers Events; Christine Schadow Fritsky; Michael Haschak from Pure Design; Sue Anne Clark and Anne Clark; John Kevin Gallagher of John Kevin Gallagher Event Decorator; and Donna O’Brien of Beautiful Blooms.  Thank you to our judges:  Jade Barnes, Marketing, Shops at Liberty Place; Tom Hawthorn, Visual designer for Shops at Liberty Plac;  Delilah Winder, Restaurateur and Author; Melissa Bartley, Field Visual Director, terrain; Jennifer Jones, Store Visual manager, terrain; and Brian Cawley, Visual Director, Lord & Taylor.

Thank you to Jill Scarlett, Tom Hawthorn and the Shops at Liberty place for once again featuring the beautiful winning table (Marie Fritz) in their display window.

A special thank you to Tod Wentz of Townsend restaurant, Seun Olubodun of Duke & Winston, Lillet, Garces Catering, DiBruno Bros., Arway Linens; Touche Accessories, DJ Bruce and Mole Street; France Magazine, and Uber Philly for your participation.  And we cannot forget the amazing Jeff and Brenda and the entire staff of Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue for hosting this event and the Pop-Up Shop.

French Garden Party at Terrain:

On July 9th we celebrated Bastille Day with a French Garden Party at terrain in Glen Mills.  Every detail was picture-perfect thanks to the staff at terrain, including Diane Stulb and Susan Schu; Susan Hutchinson from Fleurishing; Marie Fritz; Petit Jardin en Ville; the Philadelphia Pétanque Club; Philippe Desjardins; and samplings from Jessica Mogardo, Classic Cake and St. Germain.

Philly Style Party:

With a “Midnight in Paris” theme, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to participate in Philadelphia Style Magazine’s 10th Annual “Best of Style” party at the Kimmel Center on July 17th.  Three absolutely beautiful Diner en Blanc tables reflecting the Midnight in Paris theme were created by Sary Em of Home, Marie Fritz, and Claudia and Vincent Roux of Petit Jardin en Ville– thank you all for your time, creativity and attention to detail!  Thank you also to Heather Harad of Arway Linens for providing the linens for these tables.  Thank you to Kristin Detterline and Nichole Maurer for making our participation in this great event possible.

The Pop-Up Shop at Williams-Sonoma on August 6th:

Each year we host a Pop-Up shop at Williams-Sonoma where DEB participants can purchase items for the big event.  This year we focused on supporting Philadelphia businesses and invited many retailers, artisans and local etsy-crafters to participate.  The result was an amazing assortment of handmade pottery, jewelry, hats and fascinators, vintage linens and housewares.  Our vendors included: Beatrice Ryan Millinery; Adorned by Aisha; Simply Devine; Life of Tie; Arway Linens; Touche Accessories; Milica in the Hat Millenary; The Green Goldfish Gallery; Philadelphia Independents; Vagabond Ceramics; Cuttalossa; and Hats in the Belfry.  All the vendors can be found in our Shop Local board on Pinterest.

A special thank you to Jennifer Schick who recruited many of her vendors from Phair to participate and to Michele Haines and DiBruno Bros for sampling their amazing baked goods and cheese boards during the event.

Blog Site:

Throughout the summer we featured a “Guest Blogger” series designed to address all things Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia.  Thank you to all of our guest contributors: Jade Barnes, Emily Tharp, Denine Gorniak, Katie Griffin, Gordana Kostovski, Ian Michael Crumm; Marie Fritz,  Thank you also for the recipes provided by Kevin Sbraga, Jarret Meyers, Barbara Maletsky and Lari Robling.  A very special thank you to our fabulous planning team member, Jennifer Manosca, for posting these to our site.


And, finally, to everyone else, from past guests who had their own “diner” with their newborn in the NICU to those who dined elsewhere, thank you for helping us highlight the value of enjoying a great meal in a public space in Philadelphia with friends old and new. It does not take more than a table or a blanket, a good meal and a few friends, to celebrate all this City has to offer.