‘World’s largest dinner party’ returns to secret West Palm Beach location

Diner en Blanc in full effect in downtown West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Diner en Blanc in full effect in downtown West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Diner en Blanc, the massive secret picnic that invaded the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront last year, will return to an undisclosed location this fall.

The mega event, which is more “flash mob” meets “white party” than a foodie feast, returns Friday, Nov. 4, organizers announced Tuesday.

The location will not be announced until the day of the event, but Diner en Blanc West Palm Beach organizers say the new outdoor venue will accommodate more than 1500 participants.

“For this new edition, we have once again searched the city high and low to find a venue that will ‘wow’ and render this night unique and magical as well as welcome more guests,” Nora David, one of the event’s co-hosts, said via news release.

Revelers in white set up their own tables and fancy food at last year's inaugural Diner en Blanc West Palm.  (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Revelers in white at fancy tables at Diner en Blanc WPB 2015. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Dubbed the “world’s largest dinner party,” Diner en Blanc follows a tradition launched in Paris in 1988 as a casual picnic for friends to reconnect. It has now been replicated in more than 60 countries.

Attending this synchronized fashion spectacle is not as simple as purchasing a ticket. You must be invited to attend. You can get yourself invited by following the local Diner en Blanc folks in social media or schmoozing up a committee member or event volunteer.

Then there’s a labyrinthine registration process, which happens in three phases. And yes, even if you are approved, you pay an admission charge. (See details below.)

Finally, you must pack a full, formal picnic, a table, chairs, and table setting, all of which you must schlep into the venue. (Shuttle buses to the venue are available for registered participants.)

Diner en Blanc is a rain-or-shine event. Those who attended last year were greeted by a deluge of rain, which cleared and ushered in a pleasant night. And for all the stated formalities, the event itself turned out to be far more relaxed than anticipated, in terms of fashion and food.


Dressed up for Diner en Blanc WPB 2015. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
All glammed up for Diner en Blanc West Palm 2015. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)


The details:

When: Nov. 4

Where: Secret location, to be announced Nov. 4, shortly before the event. Participants will meet at an assigned location and will be escorted to the outdoor venue by a Diner en Blanc volunteer.

Registration: Visit westpalmbeach.dinerenblanc.info/register to register. This is a three-phase process. Phase 1 is for those who attended last year’s event. Phase 2 is for new guests who are referred by Phase I people. Phase 3 is for those who sign up online by Oct. 21 to be on the waiting list.

Small print: Once you are confirmed, you must attend (or you will be barred from future Diner en Blanc events). It’s a rain or shine event.

Dress code: “Elegant and white only,” organizers say. “Originality is encouraged as long as it is stylish and tasteful.”

Table setting: Must be all white. You must bring a table with two white chairs, white tablecloth, stemware and white dinnerware, a picnic basket packed with “fine” food. Only wine or Champagne are permitted (must be reserved through online e-store). No beer or hard liquor. Organizers ask that guests refrain from bringing their own alcohol.

Catering option: Will be offered onsite for a charge. This option can be reserved through the website.

Clean up: After it’s over, take everything with you – including litter.

Info: For more details, visit westpalmbeach.dinerenblanc.info/about. On social media, follow updates at Diner en Blanc – West Palm Beach,  @DinerEnBlancWPB, dinerenblanc_wpb. Hashtags: #dinerenblanc #dinerenblancWPB #debwpb16. To read about Dîner en Blanc and see photos from its events around the globe, visit dinerenblanc.info. 


‘Fresh Fest’ brings workouts, healthy bites to downtown West Palm Beach

Fresh Fest yoga moves, 2015. (Contributed)
Fresh Fest yoga moves, 2015. (Credit: Jack Bates Photography)

Increasingly walkable, health-minded and locally inclined, downtown West Palm Beach seems an ideal stage for an outdoor fest that celebrates clean living.

This is what the third annual “Fresh Fest” aims to be: a day-long celebration of fitness and healthy eats.  The festival packs no fewer than 14 fitness classes into five-plus hours, kicking off with paddleboard yoga on water and winding down with dance cardio. In between, there are cycle, hip hop, barre, boxing, and kiddie workouts.

Add to that health food demos, workshops, acai bowls, smoothies, art and music. More than 60 vendors are expected to display health-centric goods. To drive the message home, the fest has booked speaker Stephanie Mansour, a health and fitness expert who has appeared on Dr. Oz, CNN and other outlets. She’s scheduled to speak at noon.

Bonus: The fest coincides with the weekly West Palm Beach GreenMarket, which takes place one block over from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Holistic offerings on the lawn at Fresh Fest. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)
Holistic offerings on the lawn at Fresh Fest. (Meghan McCarthy/ Palm Beach Daily News)


When: Sat., from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Yoga on the Water starts at 10 a.m.)

Where: Meyer Amphitheatre, 104 Datura St., West Palm Beach (waterfront)

Admission: Free

Info: Visit freshfestFL.com or the Facebook page, facebook.com/freshfestFL