3,000 guests expected at Diner en Blanc picnic

3,000 guests expected at Diner en Blanc picnic
The diners at Diner En Blanc or White Dinner at the promenade near the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands to dine and drink under the balmy night sky. More than 800 people, dressed from head to toe in white, took part in Asia’s first pop-up Diner en Blanc, an open-air picnic which started in Paris 24 years ago and now takes place every year in over 20 cities, including New York and Sydney.

SINGAPORE - A picnic dinner event mired in controversy previously for turning its nose up at hawker dishes will feature its biggest crowd yet when it returns for its third edition here on Saturday.

Diner en Blanc - French for Dinner in White - is expecting 3,000 guests this year, up from 2,000 last year and more than thrice the 800 guests in 2012.

Almost 10,000 people are on the waiting list every year, Mr Aymeric Pasquier, son of event founder Francois Pasquier, told The Straits Times.

The invitation-only event began as the senior Pasquier's idea of an intimate reunion dinner party in Paris 26 years ago.

Singapore was the first Asian country to host it in 2012.

It is described as a "pop-up picnic" as diners must take their own meals, tables and chairs, and then leave no trace once the night's revelry ends at a location revealed only hours before dinner. They also have to wear white.

The dinner was held in Marina Bay in 2012 and Marina Barrage last year.

Local lead host Clemen Chiang, 40, said diners will be encouraged this year to write a romantic message in a bottle and send it out into the water - giving a hint on where the picnic will be held.

The "greatest declaration of love" will be awarded a dinner for two with a butler service.

The younger Mr Pasquier has been exporting the event to cities outside France, currently numbering nearly 40. Revellers have been known to hop around the globe to secure exclusive dining spots at these "secret" picnics.

Admission costs $40 per person, on top of a membership fee of $6.40.

Mr Aymeric Pasquier said the dinners are "non-commercial" and payments cover operational costs.

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