The annual “diner en blanc” picnic took place in Paris on Sunday at the Esplanade des Invalides and drew a record 17,000 participants, according to organisers.
The location of the giant chic picnic is only revealed at the last minute. In previous years it has taken place outside Notre Dame Cathedral or the Louvre Museum.
The picnic is not authorised by authorities but “tolerated”. Although on Sunday organisers made an exception and asked authorities and police if they could hold it on the Champs-Elysées. But their request was turned down and they chose the Invalides as plan b.
Sunday night's attendance was twice the size of previous gatherings and the 17,000 picnickers also included 6,000 from abroad, who had come to Paris specially for the occasion.
The “diner en blanc” phenomenon was celebrating its 30th anniversary. The concept began in France but has since spread to other cities around the world including New York and Sydney.
There are certain rules those attending have to stick by, notably they must wear white. They are also not allowed to leave behind any trace of rubbish and strong alcohol and beer are banned.
They are informed at the last minute about the location and have to bring fold up tables and chairs. Remarkably it only takes a few minutes to set up.