Dîner En Blanc is coming to Atlantic City in June

ATLANTIC CITY – The iconic “Dîner en Blanc” event, in which people dress in white, prepare their own dinner, table and props, and are taken to a mysterious location for a cool picnic in photogenic cities around the world entire, arrives in Atlantic City.

With its boardwalk and ocean views, Atlantic City has no shortage of such spaces. But the sophisticated Parisian-inspired “secret chic picnic” that prides itself on gourmet elegance has never come to Atlantic City, or the entire state of New Jersey, for that matter, organizers say. He will celebrate his 10th birthday in Philadelphia this summer.

Whether the event showcases the city’s renowned outdoor space, historic boardwalk, or takes diners to a lesser-known location — Gardner’s Basin? Avenue du Maine? Bader Field? – will of course be a famous secret.

But Mayor Marty Small Sr. said associating his city with this chic and popular outdoor global dining event that has taken place in 140 cities in 40 countries since 1988 would be a welcome addition for Atlantic City, whose outdoor dining options more typically feature beer gardens, Pizza on the boardwalk, waterfront breakfasts, and beach barbecues.

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“It’s a really big deal,” Small said. As an event promoter himself, before becoming mayor, Small hosted a similar all-white-clad event around the city, his popular Marty Small Balls.

On Tuesday, he predicted an enthusiastic response for the town of Shore, and, in fact, the preliminary registration up to 500 people was already filled but general registration remains open, organizers stressed. The exact date has not yet been announced.

“When you look at the major cities across the country, they’re hosting it in a big way,” Small said. “I always thought there were many places here in the great city of Atlantic City.”

Small said he tried to hold the event in Atlantic City and worked with his personal videographer, Kyree Terrell, who worked with the event in Philadelphia.

Separately, developer Bart Blatstein, who as head of Friends of Rittenhouse Square was involved with the event held there in 2021 in Philadelphia, was also trying to interest organizers in Atlantic City, where Blatstein owns the Showboat Hotel and other properties. The event also took place at Logan Circle.

After seeing the event in Rittenhouse Square, which he described as “magical,” celebrating diversity and standing out post-COVID, Blatstein immediately thought of Atlantic City. “It was beautiful, beautiful surroundings, everyone was dressed in white, everyone was partying. I thought, wow, Atlantic City is a place where people party.

Organizers highlighted the physical beauty of Atlantic City’s coastal location, the history of its boardwalk and Miss America Pageant, its role in starting Monopoly’s board of directors, and the “metamorphosis of its culinary scene, attracting world-renowned chefs and nationally recognized restaurants,” as making it a “perfect destination.

Dîner en Blanc offers a caterer who works with local farms to provide food for purchase, but many people pack their own picnics, often Parisian-themed, or get takeout from local restaurants. People are given specific instructions on how to dress, what size table to bring, and where to meet. Groups of around 50 people are taken separately to the secret location by the group leaders.

Natanya DiBona, the organizer of the Philadelphia and Atlantic City events, said most inaugural events in cities try to be located in iconic locations that will be recognized around the world. She said Atlantic City officials said they could easily handle thousands of people and do so regularly with events such as races, festivals and beach concerts.

“I think our guests who live in New Jersey and many guests and volunteers who still vacation in the area have been interested in this for years,” DiBona said. “Atlantic City’s history really appeals to us. Personally, I would like to see a little more nostalgia when you go to Atlantic City. There is such a beautiful story. I hope to plan the event around the location, remembering what was happening in Atlantic City, as well as the future.