August 19, 2016
Thousands dressed in white Thursday on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to celebrate the fifth annual Dîner en Blanc Philly.
The idea started in France about 30 years ago and has expanded to cities around the world, and diners are kept in the dark about its location and other details until the last minute. In Philadelphia, the event has seen its way to the Navy Yard and the Avenue of the Arts.
Dîner en Blanc's website calls the event a "mass chic picnic in a public space" and hopes to bring "the elegance and glamor of high French society" to other cities.
Its mission has many Philadelphians rolling their eyes – including PhillyVoice.com columnist Brian Hickey, who detailed his hatred for Dîner en Blanc here. He criticized the cost – $45 for one person – and noted that the money for the event could have been spent on other things like schools or homelessness.
Readers quickly jumped to the event's defense on social media.
@BrianPHickey I think you have a point, but your "trash related comments"/money spent could be applied to any sporting event/concert in town— Phil Naegely (@pnaegelySTS) August 19, 2016
The Hickey column prompted a Dîner en Blanc Philly patron to write an opinion piece about how the event is a wasted opportunity – to do some public good. Social media didn't take well to that idea.
They weren't about getting guilt-tripped, that's for sure.