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Published: Wednesday August 27, 2014 MYT 12:15:00 PM
Updated: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 7:06:11 PM

Dinner in White tradition sparkles again in New York

The Diner en Blanc, the world’s only viral culinary event, celebrates its 25th anniversary in several cities around the world. This one is in New York City. – AFP

The Diner en Blanc, the world’s only viral culinary event, celebrates its 25th anniversary in several cities around the world. This one is in New York City. – AFP

New Yorkers start spreadin’ the news, and head to Rockefeller Park for the annual event.

With the setting sun glittering on the Hudson, nearly 5,000 people turned out on Monday (Aug 25) for the fourth edition of “Diner en blanc” (Dinner in White), dressed to the nines.

In what amounts to a flash mob sunset picnic, diners get details of the event with virtually no notice, and turn up all in white – even bringing chairs.

This year, the surprise locale was Nelson Rockefeller Park, in Manhattan, with its enviable river view. As it is every year, the location was kept secret until minutes before organisers announced it.

Guests, who register in advance, turned out with tables, chairs, tableware – all in white.

François Pasqueir, the founder of the original Diner en Blanc in Paris which began in 1988, and his son Aymeric Pasquier at Diner en Blanc in New York. – AFP

The tradition dates back to an original event 26 years ago in Paris at which the organiser invited guests to all wear white so they would be easily spotted in a park.

The weather was more than cooperative. The music was more than a soupçon French, with tunes from Edith Piaf, to Michel Fugain and Joe Dassin.

Guests often get a little whimsical in their dress, with massive hats, masks, feathers and the odd huge string of pearls.

This year, there was sushi, charcuterie, salads, salmon, a cheese plate and champagne before dancing.

“It is a challenge to organise but it is worth it,” said a radiant Sandy Safi, co-founder of Diner en Blanc International.

At midnight, the park must return to its original state. Guests even collect their own trash and cart it off.

This year’s international round has taken place in cities including Johannesburg, New York, Mexico City, Paris and Singapore. – AFP Relaxnews

Here are more pictures from the event.

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