Free food will always draw a crowd. And last Friday, Aug. 29, was no different when the Wisconsin Cheese Festival kicked off a two-week consumer awareness promotion campaign at Farragut Square park. A 100-foot-long cheese sandwich was sliced into one-inch wedges and given away to passersby.

Alice in Dairyland (Vicky Scharian) and a host of other Wisconsin cheese promoters were on hand to represent the state that supplies the nation with 40 percent of its cheese.

The sandwich, which cost several hundred dollars, was sectioned into 18, six-foot loaves of French bread, 60 pounds of assorted cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes, a gallon each of mustard and catsup, and pickles and onions. It was not the favorite attraction of the day.

While munching on their cheese sandwiches, the crowd whopped, hollered, whistled and yelled to the women from Jazzercise, the "ham" to go with the cheese (as they preferred to call themselves), while they wiggled and danced their way across the stage in blue leotards, to show that staying in shape can be fun.

Also on hand were the "Noble Jolley Jazz Band," performing as part of the District of Columbia's Summer in the Parks program.

While many members of the crowd denied having any interest in the sandwich, all 100 feet of it was gone within 15 minutes.