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Karen Miranda of Mount Joy unpacked an epic picnic Wednesday night: tortellini with pesto made with herbs from her garden. New potatoes with fresh dill, clam dip and a cheese plate.
The main course?
“Dinner’s a surprise,” she said.
Miranda and her white-topped table were part of Fête en Blanc Lancaster, which turned Clipper Magazine Stadium into the latest pop-up dinner party spot. The free tickets for this annual event disappeared quickly and attracted the largest crowd yet: about 1,200.
Organizer April LaMon got the idea from Dîner en Blanc, a secretive dinner in white on the bridges of Paris. She kept the color scheme and the start-of-summer time of year.
A Lancaster twist opens the invitation list to anyone who asks.
“It is a celebration of Lancaster and people who love the city,” LaMon said.
The party has grown since 100 people attended the first one in 2012.
After an email was sent announcing this year’s party, 1,000 spaces were filled in less than 12 hours.
“It’s a tremendous energy,” LaMon said.
Additional tickets from the wait list were later added.
Once they’re on the attendee list, the rules are simple: bring your own food, drinks, chairs and tables.
Oh, and wear white.
“It’s just visually striking and beautiful,” LaMon said.
Downtown businesses like TMB got into the spirit and created window displays featuring white clothing. Restaurants like Commonwealth on Queen created a to-go meals for people to pack, like a three-course menu with things like tapenade, smoked turkey and peach and raspberry tart.
Amid the blanc, people unpacked Italian food, crudité, sushi and enough cheese to make Cylo happy.
The event changes location each year. Last year, the white party filled Shreiner-Concord Cemetery. This year, LaMon liked the idea of working with the stadium’s new owners.
“They really want to reshape how people see this stadium as a venue,” she said.
Nancy Gingrich Shenk of Lancaster showed up with her version of a picnic chandelier: a telescoping rack on which she and her group hung mismatched glasses filled with hydrangea, baby’s breath and hop vines.
It was her second Fête en Blanc.
“We love the party. It’s just so much fun,” she said. “Look at everything around here. It’s just so exciting. Where else can you get this much excitement?”
Click here to see photos of Fête en Blanc from Twitter and Instagram.
href="http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/fete-en-blanc-enlivens-shreiner-concord-cemetery-grounds-with-summer/article_6479eeb6-f826-11e3-9fb6-0017a43b2370.html?mode=image">Check out pictures of the 2014 Fête en Blanc