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Le Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2019 Held at Boathouse Row With Record 6,000 Guests
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/23/19 5:19 am | updated: 08/23/19 5:19 am
More than 6,000 guests landed at Boathouse Row along Kelly Drive on Thursday night, 8/22, for the 8th annual Le Diner en Blanc in Philadelphia. This event is the largest Diner en Blanc gathering in the country this year. "The number eight plays a significant role in competitive rowing. The 'rowing eight' is the largest of the boats and takes eight rowers, working in unison, to succeed," said Le Dîner en Blanc - Philadelphia co-host Natanya DiBona. "So, it was fitting to pick Boathouse Row for our eighth location, particularly because the event relies on the hard work of everyone - planning team members, volunteers and all 6,000 participants to make Diner en Blanc Philadelphia a success." Boathouse Row is home to twelve rowing clubs, including four of the city's universities and several high schools. Founded in 1858, the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia is the governing organization for Boathouse Row and the rowing community in Philadelphia.

View Photo Gallery - Le Diner en Blanc Philadelphia 2019

Guests started to arrive around 6:45 p.m. after receiving a text about this year's secret location. They were scattered around the city waiting at various holding areas beforehand. Some walked while other arrived by other modes including trolley. Besides wearing all white, guests must bring their own table, chair, food and drink. They are separated into groups and pull their picnics via hand carts in an orderly fashion to set up all along Kelly Drive. Many also bring elaborate table settings to liven up their folding table. There are awards for "Most Elegant Table," "Most Elegant Female," and "Most Elegant Male," as determined by celebrity judges. The event attracts people of all ages, races, and walks of life, looking to have an unusual and lighthearted evening dining al fresco with other people.

During dinner, guests were delighted by a variety of entertainment. That included but was not limitied to wandering musicians (Originaire, Melissa Dunphy) and Dewdrop Society band on stage w/ dancers Dandy Wellington & Gin Minsky. A penny farthing also roamed the bike trail. Shortly after 9 p.m., the traditional sparkler wave began creating a sea of shimmering lights along Kelly Drive. The DJs then began to get the dance floors going. Early on, a drum line joined the DJ and played along with several songs while a roller skate crew performed in the crowd. Rain started to arrive towards the end of the event but it did not put a damper on the evening.

This event has been held at various locations around the city each year including Swann Fountain, Franklin Square, S. Broad Street/Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia Art Museum, and City Hall. Le Dîner en Blanc started in Paris 31 years ago and has spread to close to 80 cities in 30 countries. The first year in Philadelphia included 1,300 guests. For more information go to

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