The first sunny weekend of the summer brought the city out to celebrate - by the thousands - in parks, at pools, on the mall, at block parties and at festivals from RFK Stadium to Dupont Circle.

As the temperature reached 89 degrees (the city has yet to top 90 this year) Washington's residents turned out in force to catch the only steady sun that has fallen on the area in seven weeks.

The gasoline crunch kept some from heading to the beaches - reports from the Chesapeake Bay bridge showed traffic down by 6,000 cars from a year ago Saturday - although the flow was heavy again by yesterday afternoon.

Sunbathers sprawled on just about every grassy surface in the city, and by late afternoon there were a lot of red faces. Tourists truding through the mall, by contrast, spent much of their time seeking out shade as heat seemed to rise in thick steamy waves from the grass. Any available body of water, no matter how many statues stood in it, was likely to become a swimming pool.

Two of the biggest events for those who spent their Sunday in town - a gay-sponsored block party and a Jewish ethnic festival - mixed a bit of politics with large measures of celebration. But it was clear at both that the primary concern of most who attended was how to have the most fun under the sun.