Six-year-old Fatush Hancock was grinning shamelessly. She had just eaten two hotdogs, two hamburgers, a bag of potato chips and two bottles of soda.
Fatush was among several hundred of Brentwood residents in Northeast Washington who braved Saturday's sticky weather and dark skies to enjoy the free food, games and music at the Fifth Annual Brentwood Community Association Block Party.
More than 1,200 hamburgers, 38 cases of soda pop, scores of hot dogs, potato chips and popsicles were the fare for the steady stream of party-goers who came to the 1300 block of Downing Street NE through the afternoon and evening.
Louise Martin, the civic association's president, described the annual party as an attempt to bring together people in the community who may have no other occasion to meet their neighbors.
Among those attending was Ward 5 council member Bill Spaulding, who arrived on his "trusted bicycle."
"I wouldn't miss (the party) for anything," said Spaudling. "Activities like this are what gives the community its togetherness."
The Brentwood neighborhood in Upper Northeast is bordered by Montana Avenue, Brentwood Road and W Street.
Three bands, whose combined repetoire ranged from progressive jazz to top 40 tunes, appealed to the different tastes of those who had come specifically for the music.
Others were there for the contests and games.
"I'm going to win the dance contest and the egg-throwing contest," said 14-year-old Kim McIntyre, of 2231 13th St. NE.
"I came here to see my friends who don't live on my street," said Dawane McCorkle. She said she planned to challenge her twin sister Dionne in a dance contest.
The Brentwood Community Association sponsors raffles and other fundraising activities each year to subsidize the event. All other money and food is contributed by Brentwood residents who pledge their contributions by checking off items listed on a flyer distributed to their homes.
"Everyone looks forward to this," Martin said. "Last year we had two or three thousand people."
"They should have more things like this," said Rickey Robinson, 21, of 325 Channing St. NE. "Let them have fun like that, and they'll be happier."
Everyone seemed to be having fun, whether participating or just watching others enjoy the party.
"I came to see how the children enjoy the program," said Emanuel Farrlay, 79, of 2331 14th St. NE. Farrlay said he enjoyed the noisy atmosphere of the party.
Many Brentwood residents said they look forward to the party each year.
"It seems like every year it gets better and better," said Kathleen Saunders.
The party was sponsored by Brentwood citizens, although two of the three bands were from the Department of Recreation. Neighborhood nurses volunteered to administer free blood pressure testing, while a local resident circulated a list recruiting residents for Brentwood Community Association. CAPTION: Picture, "Trouble," a local band, at a block party in Brentwood. By Michael Ford Parks - The Washington Post.