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Diner en Blanc returning to Long Island at mystery location

Fred Espinosa and Lori Vandoran of West Babylon

Fred Espinosa and Lori Vandoran of West Babylon took part in last year's Diner en Blanc outside Nassau Coliseum. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

There is absolutely no reason for it to exist, which is a big part of the charm. Diner en Blanc, an annual soiree in which patrons dress up in head-to-toe white and then repair to a secret outdoor locale for dinner, drinks and dancing along with 2,000-plus of their closest bleached friends, debuted in Paris in the distant past (1988) and subsequently inspired copycats (licensed) around the world before arriving on Long Island in 2017. DEB is a simple idea, celebrates nothing in particular, marks no holiday and yet is "increasing in popularity on Long Island as more people experience the event," according to Donyshia Boston-Hill, a co-host of the party. 

Sunday, Sept. 15 is the date of this year’s DEB, which requires revelers to purchase tickets in advance. They start at $51 each, and remain available as of today. Interested participants will need to first join the waiting list on the Diner website, however, after which they will be contacted and invited to register.

As for the evening itself, there is a lengthy list of rules too numerous to recite here. Suffice it to say that DEB takes its blanc-ness very seriously, and will refuse admission to anyone who violates its dress code, or who does not show up with their own table, white tablecloth, white chairs, etc. Participants must either tote their own food (not necessarily white) or purchase a provision-stocked picnic basket in advance, and all alcoholic beverages must be purchased on-site.

If history is any guide, those who adhere to DEB’s strictures can expect a unique evening in a setting equally unique, one revealed to diners just before the pop-up dinner itself. Last year’s DEB was held outside the Nassau Coliseum, while the de Seversky mansion in Old Westbury played host the previous year. This “unforgettable evening of elegance, beauty and magic” (per DEB’s news release) also promises a dance floor, more surprises and — not least — the rare opportunity to wear white after Labor Day without risking social opprobrium.

For further information on this year’s Diner en Blanc, visit longisland.dinerenblanc.com.

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