Crowd Flocks To Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park For Exclusive Diner En Blanc Party

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With a wait list of 45,000 people, le Diner en Blanc is one of the most exclusive dinner parties in New York.

But as CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, there’s a catch – you have to bring your own table to a super-secret location.

And it is not every day that you see people dressed to the nines, hauling their own tables and chairs around.

“I can’t feel my arm, but it’s worth it,” said Diner en Blanc guest Janina Lagemann.

“When we don’t know where we’re going it’s a big surprise, it’s kind of fun, and you forget you’re schlepping things around the city,” said Diner en Blanc guest Janna Emig.

Inside Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Lower Manhattan around 7 p.m. Thursday, a sea of white napkins signaled the start of the event. It is a pop-up dinner for 5,000, designed to unite people from all walks of life.

“It’s been really amazing to have so many people here and it’s such a beautiful sight,” said Diner en Blanc guest Justine Gelfman.

Some people packed their own gourmet picnics, while others pre-ordered a decadent spread from celebrity chef Todd English.

“Everyone around the table is pretty much the same. That’s what I love,” English said. “I love the democracy of everyone getting together around the table and having a great time.”

Guests were impressed across the board.

“It’s beautiful being out here — I’m loving it,” said Diner en Blanc guest Marvina Robinson.

“I think it’s nice to see everyone dressed in white and how creative people are with their table settings,” said Diner en Blanc guest Ashley Samuel. “I think it’s a great event.”

Samuel said she would “definitely” come back again.

“It’s a New York experience — really fun, worth it,” said Diner en Blanc guest Marnie Gelfman. “Get on that wait list.”

Tickets are about $100 a pair, but money isn’t the issue. To get in, you have to know someone, or put your name on the waiting list — leaving 45,000 people hoping maybe next year they’ll be lucky enough to be part of the vision in white.

Le Diner en Blanc started with a few friends meeting for dinner in Paris. They wore white so they could find each other.

Nearly 30 years later, 125,000 people in 25 countries take part in events around the world. This is the sixth year the event has been held in New York.

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