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Thunderstorm Forces Shutdown of Annual 'Diner en Blanc' Picnic in Manhattan

Over 5,000 people turned out for the Dîner en Blanc formal picnic at New York’s Rockefeller Park on Wednesday, July 17, but a thunderstorm forced the ninth annual event to finish early, with guests fleeing the soaking conditions, local media said. The mass picnic, which is staged in numerous cities throughout the world, encourages guests to “experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces by participating in the unexpected,” according to organizers. Guests must wear white and bring their own tables, chairs, dishes, cutlery, white tablecloth, cloth napkins, and glassware to the event, according to local media. Ticket prices are reported to be $106 per pair. This year, there were more than 60,000 people on the waiting list for an invitation, according to local media. The attendee who shot this footage said they had to flee the scene with all the evening’s other picnickers after organizers were forced to shut the event down. The date of the secretive event is known to attendees in advance, but the location is only revealed at the last minute. The organizers have not said whether the picnic will be rescheduled. Credit: Justin O’Reilly via Storyful
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