ATLANTIC CITY – The iconic Dîner en Blanc event, in which people dress in white, pack their own dinner, table and accessories, and are driven to a mysterious location for a cool picnic in photogenic cities around the world , arrives in Atlantic City.
With its boardwalk and ocean views, Atlantic City has no shortage of such spaces. But the Parisian-inspired and sophisticated “secret chic picnic” that prides itself on gastronomic elegance never came to Atlantic City, or the entire state of New Jersey, for that matter, according to organizers. He will celebrate his 10th birthday in Philadelphia this summer.
Whether the event showcases Atlantic City‘s outdoor marquee space, its historic boardwalk, or takes diners to a lesser-known location – Gardner’s Basin? Avenue du Maine? Field Bader? – will of course be a famous secret.
But Mayor Marty Small Sr. said his city’s association with this chic and popular outdoor global dining event, which 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, Boardwalk pizza, 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 Ball.
On Tuesday, he predicted an enthusiastic response for the city of Shore. In reality, the preliminary registration for 500 people was already filled but general registration remains open, organizers stressed.. The exact date in June has yet to be 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 attended 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 called “magical,” celebrating diversity and reeling from COVID-19, 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 the Atlantic City coastal location, the history of its boardwalk and Miss America Pageant, its role in originating the Monopoly game board, and the “metamorphosis of its food scene , attracting world-renowned chefs and nationally recognized restaurants.” as in 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.