The Impromptu Flash Feast!
The dinners are modeled after the “Diner en Blanc” in Paris that are held on public spaces, a 25 year tradition of gourmet food and wine. The French events often attract thousands of people.
How it works there:
Social media is used to communicate the location of the events. The only known thing is the time and day of the event. When events are in Paris, you can see groups of people dressed in white with tables, picnic baskets etc. waiting for the location to be revealed gathered at metro and bus stations all over town.
Once the location is revealed, they move.
Suddenly, people from everywhere come to the location, set up tables, chairs, spread white tablecloths, unpack food, pour champagne and have a great time.
The White Dinner. Almost like a foodies flash mob. Only when they leave, the space is left clean and it appears as if nothing ever happened.
The police and authorities stopped trying to interfere because there was no violence, no defacing public property. Things were left better than before. So why not?
How it works in Charlotte:
However here in Charlotte, things aren’t so casual. The events are held on private lawns because it is against the law to drink alcohol on public property without proper permits and licensing. Who wants to risk a ticket or worse, an arrest?
If we feel we can pull an event off on public ground, it would have to be quick, flash in, set up, eat, drink, celebrate, then go away in 2 hours. Hopefully before any authorities figure out what is happening. By the time they do, poof! Gone.
It is legal to have a picnic in the park, right? 😉
We are in the process of gaining permission to use prominent public places that will showcase the city of Charlotte so White Dinners can carry on in the traditional manner occupying public space and drinking wine and champagne.
Events have a fee to attend. The cost is $35.00 per person.
The fee goes to the organization of the event, advertisement, permits, security and a stipend to the private lawn owner whose lawn gets trampled and for the use of the space.
In addition, the fee will go towards joining the international Diner en Blanc Society in 2013.
There are a few “rules”
- Bring your own table and white chairs – if possible
- White Table linens only
- All White Attire colors spoil the look- see the photo
- Bring your own food and drink
- Bring your own china, glass and silver (Use the nice stuff!)
- Only wine and champagne, please no beer or other alcohol – on public property this is more important than private property – Again licensing and permitting issues.
- Nothing gets staked into the ground.
- Nothing can be attached to or removed from any landscaping. Strictly Enforced!
- Candles with hurricane lamps are encouraged.
- Bring a trash bag to clean up any mess you see or make
How do I sign up?
In order to attend you must be invited by someone who attended the previous event. If you attended the previous event, you are automatically invited.
Invitations are two phased:
1. Invitations by previous attendees
2. If space is available after all invitations have RSVP’d people on the waiting list are contacted 48 hours before the event to fill remaining spots.
If you do not know anyone who has attended you can request to be on the waiting list by:
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request to be on the waiting list
- Include your name, e-mail, address and phone number.
- If space is available, you will be contacted 48 hours ahead of the event.
Space is limited, we simply cannot accommodate 15,000 people.
- Flash feast happening in Boston on Aug. 16 (boston.com)