Picnickers dine ‘en Blanc’ at Temple Terrace event
TEMPLE TERRACE -
This city’s image is more akin to Mayberry than Miami, but an artsy, new dining experience in May might help change that.
At the very least, organizers of Art en Blanc are hoping the internationally-themed picnic will become associated with Temple Terrace like Gasparilla is to Tampa.
“It will be something in Temple Terrace that will be lasting and different,” Temple Terrace Arts Council President Mary Jane Neale said.
Arts en Blanc is the arts council’s new fundraising event. All participants are required to wear all white for the adult picnic under the stars. They will dine on tables fitted with white linens.
The picnickers will provide their own food, beverages, dinnerware and silverware. Adult beverages will be permitted.
The charm for organizers is the concept has never been tried before in the Tampa Bay area.
En Blanc dinners have established followings in cities such as New York, Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans.
In Temple Terrace, the evening of food, music, and entertainment is set for 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. May 17 at Woodmont Park, 407 Woodmont Ave.
The small park anchored by a gazebo and lush plants under a canopy of live oaks offers a serene setting for the picnic.
Several local restaurants are putting together prepaid and prepackaged dinners for those who don’t want to bring their on meal.
The idea for the dinner began in Paris in 1988, when Francois Pasquier arranged a dinner for family and friends in a park. He asked his guests to wear white, so they could easily find one another.
Admission for individual tickets is $25 and a table of eight will cost $160. Tickets can be purchased by calling (813) 988-2787 or online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The arts council hopes about 300 will attend this year, said Nancy Hutson, an arts council member who is coordinating the dinner. She estimates the dinner will draw a thousand participants in five years.
Guests will dance the night away to the music of the Dennis Pupello Jazz Ensemble.
Proceeds will benefit the arts council’s arts program. Ward-Seaford Attorneys at Law is the sponsor of the event.