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• It's a picnic where everybody has to wear white, and you don't find out its location till just beforehand, and if you can't immediately register you get wait-listed. The wait list is now open. BYO food and drinks or buy them from Tony Mantuano.
So there's that. On the other hand:
• It's kind of free?
• There's some kind of fee to pay for overhead, so it's not really free.
While at the same time:
• You have to buy your likker (wine) ahead of time through the website. No personal hooch is permitted.
• Consider the type of crowd that an event like this will draw.
• A party called Chicago in White happens the same weekend. Dîner en Blanc organizers "cannot guarantee the quality of the experience with Chicago in White" but "do wish them luck in their endeavor" all the same.
Further questions? There's an FAQ! What must guests bring? "A table, two (white) chairs, a picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and china dinner service." No McDonalds, proles! The best thing about the FAQ is that it gets escalatingly aggressive. Here are the final two questions:
There are lots of rules and many of the guests may find these restrictive. Isn’t there a risk that this will inhibit the spontaneity and festivity which are at the origin of the concept?
All these rules may in effect seem restrictive, and can be seen as over-controlling. One must keep in mind that the Dîner en Blanc is not an ordinary event. The evening takes place in a public place which was not designed for such a purpose and is often very busy. It must necessarily be very controlled in order for future editions to be held. Such measures never taint the festive and friendly spirit which prevails each year.
Will members registered for the first edition be automatically re-invited?
Yes. Only those having transgressed the rules or desisted at the last moment, deterred by ominous clouds, will not be re-invited to the following editions. Their name and email will be put on a black list, prohibiting them from registering for future editions.
That's right: blacklisted from the white party.