PopUp (adj.) pertaining to or executing a spontaneous or unique event where participants create an unexpected, one-of-a-kind experience.
The fifth annual Sonoma Wine Country PopUp Dinner, put on by Sonoma-based Handmade Events, will return on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event, which is described as a picnic and dance party under the stars, will be a benefit for Flowery Elementary School.
“It’s a celebration of life, love and community,” said co-founder Nicole Benjamin-Sathre. “It is what Sonoma and each guest makes of it.”
Over the past four years the PopUp event has been held at Cornerstone, Jack London State Historic Park, La Casa Grande Barracks and General Vallejo’s Home. For the fifth anniversary, the event will return to one of these locations.
Part of the magic is the mysterious location – the exact destination is revealed to ticket holders via email just two hours before the start of the event. Guests are invited at 5 p.m. to begin set up, with dinner starting at 7, and entertainment and dancing afterward. A few hours following the event, no trace is left behind.
Handmade Events owners Nicole Benjamin and Garrett Sathre organized their first pop-up event in San Francisco and it drew more than 3,500 people dressed in white to picnic under the stars. Since then they have expanded and now offer pop-up dinners in cities across the U.S. Their biggest annual event, in Brooklyn, N.Y., drew 6,000 people last year, according to event organizers. The Sonoma event, which they say drew 750 guests last year, is their smallest.
All white attire is the theme. Guests bring their own elaborate tablescapes for outdoor dining in style. Tables can be as simple or elaborate as desired. After setting up, guests typically wander the venue, wine glass in hand, to see what others have created and meet new people.
Guests go all out in creating, preparing and packing their own menu to be shared among hundreds of new friends. Guests are encouraged to bring the wine/bubbles for their extravagant picnic.
A DJ makes sure that the music will get people out of their chairs and on to the dance floor.
Ticket pre-sales began on Thursday, April 26, at handmade-events.com. Tickets are $55 for the 21 and over event.