It was a great day for a white picnic last Saturday as LA’s first PopUp Picnic was held on the lawn of the Natural History Museum. Nearly 1,500 picnickers wore their finest white outfits and brought gourmet food, table decor ranging from candles to fresh flowers to balloons and a convivial spirit. Following successful PopUp Dinners in San Francisco and San Diego where thousands gathered to wine and dine under the stars, Hand Made Events brought their unique brand of fun, enchantment, and spontaneity to Los Angeles and it was a hit. Los Angelenos rose to occasion and created the perfect mass picnic.
At 3 p.m. on August 25, 2012, the secret location (Natural History Museum) was revealed via email. Only those on the VIP guest list received the invite. By 6 p.m., The Black Market Trust band featuring Leah Zeger was playing and the lawn was a beautiful sight to see with hundreds of ornately adorned white tables and sophisticated Angelenos in Great Gatsby-esque attire. The feasting began as the sun was setting with a white napkin wave at around 7:15 p.m, followed by a live DJ and dancing.
The DJ played mostly house music, much to the dismay of old-school music lovers, but guests of the picnic were in such a great mood grooving outside under the moon-light sky, the dance party thrived.
There were no official awards handed out, but if there were, here’s my vote:
Fanciest Table Award
Most Creative White Accessory
Most Enlightened Table
Best Vegan Feast
Most Uninhibited Dancer
As illustrated in photos above, Hand Made Events brought out LA’s creativity and flair. We caught up with co-founder of Hand Made Events, Nicole Benjamin, to find out more about their inspiration behind such a brilliant dining concept:
LA’s The Place: What inspired you to start the PopUp picnic concept?
Nicole Benjamin: They have been celebrating events of this kind for decades in Europe and we wanted to bring the concept to the US.
LATP: How did you decide on the Natural History Museum for the secret location?
NB: It was a great fit for several reasons. Logistically it was the easiest venue we visited. Plenty of room for thousands of people and cars. We were able to work with their terrific staff to negotiate our guests bringing their own wine to the event, that is not always easy. Finally, we thought that the white museum lit up at night would be a great backdrop for the event, many guests agree it was!
LATP: What cities will you be launching in next?
NB: We are taking a step back and trying to figure it out. We want to go to cities that are as excited about the event as we are.
LATP: It was wonderful to see everyone in a uniform of sorts last Saturday, why all white?
NB: A few reasons, we wanted one color as a unifying theme – you know that you are a part of the group when you all come in white. It also is the best color to wear at night in the dark. But mostly it’s white because it is so beautiful and elegant. A red party could never be appealing the way a white party is!
LATP: What is the history of the white napkin wave? What does it mean?
NB: The napkin wave is just to kick off the dinner hour: a celebratory and fun thing for the group to do together.
LATP: What was the reaction of guests at LA’s 1st Pop up picnic?
Very positive. There is always a lot of confusion around the event the first time it happens in the city. It is unlike any other event and there are there are a lot of different components to it, a lot of things that the guests need to actively do in order to participate. But people who really understand what we are doing, the beauty and simplicity of it – the fact that it just about great food and friends having a beautiful night under the stars… they always love it!
Bravo Handmade Events on such a well-received and well attended 1st PopUp Picnic in the City of Angels. By the reaction on social media fronts, many were disappointing that they couldn’t make it, with hopes of a 2nd Annual PopUp picnic in the near future (hint,hint).
Not only was it an incredibly festive and celebratory event for the community, but a portion of the ticket sales benefited Slow Food Los Angeles, a chapter of Slow Food USA.
To view my Facebook album of LA’s PopUp Picnic, click HERE.
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Written by Lanee Neil