Dîner en Blanc invades heart of Center City

"It's fantastically beautiful."

Andrew Kramer
August 17, 2018 - 8:50 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When you hear Dilworth Park you may think fountains or ice skating. Thomas Paine Plaza is often associated with the Frank Rizzo statue and oversized board game pieces. But Thursday night both spots transformed into a massive dining space for over 5,000 people decked out in all white for the annual pop-up party known as Dîner en Blanc. 

"Spotlights, balloons, flowers — it's amazing," said Toni DeJesse, attending Dîner en Blanc for the first time.

"They knocked it out of the park," added her friend Denise Doyle, a five-year veteran of the event.

Guests don't known where they'll be dining until moments before the event begins.

"It's very exciting, the anticipation you're building up," said Kaitlin Kobasic, who really enjoyed the backdrop of City Hall during dinner. 

"And you get to see Billy Penn and the lights and the white," she said. "It just works out."

Erica Webster loved this year's secret location as well.

"It's fantastically beautiful, and it represents the City of Philadelphia," she said.

Even though this particular night was very hot and humid.

"Nobody cares," said Webster, "because we are surrounded by Philadelphians who love food and love celebrating the city of Brotherly Love."

Bill Godshalk was enjoying the social nature of Dîner en Blanc.

"We met people we didn't know before," he said, "sharing food with each other, sharing drinks with each other, sharing stories with each other, celebrating everything that's Philadelphia."

Before dinner, crowds waved their napkins together as part of the tradition.

There was live entertainment all throughout the evening.