A day after 800,000 people crowded into the capital for a Desert Storm welcome-home celebration, the troops and tanks that paraded through the throngs began leaving town and the bleachers along Constitution Avenue NW were dismantled and sent to their next stop: a Grateful Dead concert.

Even as the city began recovering from its victory-celebration hangover yesterday, the celebration was continuing, as tens of thousands continued to pack the Mall to marvel at displays of high-tech weaponry. Unusually large crowds hit the city's museums and monuments on the day after Saturday's parade, picnic and fireworks.

"The interest is overwhelming," said Army Pfc. Paul Jones, atop his 26-ton howitzer on the Mall, as he was asked to signed his 240th autograph. "It's amazing."

Street lights, removed so tanks could negotiate the streets, went back up, and National Park Service employee Walter Boone found a toupee among the 1.2 million pounds of trash that Saturday's crowd left behind.

Many of the tanks and troops headed back to their home bases, but others were off for New York and its Desert Storm parade, scheduled for today. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the 8,800 war veterans down Constitution on Saturday, is to ride down Broadway in a convertible today.

As Treasury Department employees removed the bulletproof glass that had encased President Bush during the parade in Washington, parade organizers in New York were just gearing up.

Readying 200 miles of ticker tape, 10,000 pounds of confetti and 1 million yellow ribbons in New York, they have promised to make Washington's $12 million event look like a mere dress rehearsal.

The real star of Washington's show -- even in competition with a parade that featured marching war veterans and Patriot missiles, even compared with a fireworks display that was three times as big as the Fourth of July's -- was the seven-block-long array of weaponry that helped defeat Iraq.

John and Barbara Haiduk, of Dallas, went to the parade Saturday and returned to the Mall yesterday.

"This is kind of like seeing celebrities," Barbara Haiduk said. "You hear about Apaches, Patriots and the Bradley {fighting} vehicles, but you never get to see them. The troops were the heroes, but these were the tools."

Arlington County Board member Albert C. Eisenberg was a repeat visitor too. He had come down to see the parade Saturday, which followed a memorial service for the lives lost in the Persian Gulf War. Yesterday, Eisenberg was back again with his son, Alex, to take a look at the tanks and missiles.

"I'm amazed how all these pieces of specialized equipment -- each built for a specific job -- all look alike," he said about the huge, camouflaged-painted equipment.

Kathy Ellis had avoided the crowd Saturday, but couldn't resist a visit yesterday. "We thought it would be too crowded," the Arlington teacher said. "Today is just right."

From the moment the last fireworks were shot off Saturday night to late yesterday, more than 1,000 people -- including 700 volunteers -- worked at cleaning away the crowd's soda cans and film containers, plastic forks and popsicle sticks.

"You name it, we've found it," said Boone, who was called in from Prince William Forest Park to aid in the cleanup effort and found the toupee on the grass of the Ellipse.

As the last fireworks display fizzled in the sky, Brandon "Kevin" Moreno, riding the back of a Park Service garbage truck, was ready to move into high speed.

Under special lights erected for the cleanup, Moreno and others worked into the night to get rid of the trash. Some found shoes; one found a broken baby stroller.

"We got it all under control, no problem," said Moreno, wearing gloves, heavy boots, soiled jeans and a glow-in-the-dark orange vest for the job. "No matter how big the job, we'll get it done. What was there? A million people? So you know the trash is gonna be heavy."

As he approached a particularly huge trash pile, he wiped the sweat off his brow with his forearm. He shook his head looking at the mess, which spread over the space of several picnic blankets. "I'll be here for a while," he muttered.

A woman walking by pointed at him and told two children with her, "You know the only difference between us and him? They get paid to take out the trash."

But while the National Park Service, which wants as much as $700,000 from parade organizers for overtime police work and cleanup costs, does get paid for taking out the trash, 700 Desert Storm Homecoming Foundation volunteers did not.

About $300,000 in debt, the private foundation that ran Saturday's event used the volunteers to help reduce its costs.

Foundation fund-raiser Wendy Pangburn said she does not believe it will be difficult to erase the debt, because "everybody feels good about it. It's a good thing to tie your name to."

In addition to the $5 million in private funds that the Homecoming Foundation has raised, the Defense Department estimated its cost, mainly to transport troops and military hardware, at $5 million to $7 million. Some Defense Department sources say that cost could go even higher when all the bills are counted.

At the foundation headquarters on 15th Street NW, the phones continued to ring yesterday. But the calls no longer were about deliveries. Someone wanted the staff's beepers back. There was a discussion about returning the 54 walkie-talkies used by advance men along the parade route. A phone company employee came by, advising that the phones might be cut off Wednesday.

"Real life, reality is checking in," said Matthew Boland, chief of operations for Saturday's parade.

Boland said he examined the 2.5-mile parade route for damage yesterday. The 67-ton M1A1 tanks had left tread marks in the asphalt of Constitution Avenue, but he said he didn't see any other damage. D.C. public works officials plan to survey the area for damage this week and estimate costs to the city. Just to staff the parade route, 1,000 District police officers were called in.

In the aftermath, Boland said, he will turn his attention to history. Already, he said, he has begun writing a report on the event, the first military parade here since 1946, for the National Archives.

"It would be a shame to waste all the meticulous details," he said.

Part of that story will be the 115 people treated at first-aid stations and the 53 people arrested Saturday, mostly for vending violations.

Planners of other events around the area had worried that the Desert Storm celebration would draw down their crowds, but that proved not to be the case.

In Alexandria, the Red Cross Waterfront Festival drew record crowds. Yesterday, its attendance was believed to have topped 100,000.

In Fairfax County on Saturday, more than 60,000 tickets were bought for the county fair at George Mason University. Lynne Caswell, the fair's assistant director, said she had feared that the national victory celebration would cut into fair attendance, but the fair drew the largest crowd for a Saturday in its 10 years.

Those flying into National Airport on Saturday expected delays while the airport was closed during a flyover of 83 warplanes, but the airport shutdown lasted longer than planned, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

As a safety precaution, commercial traffic in and out of National was to have been halted for about 30 minutes during the flight of warplanes over the parade route. But in part because the parade lasted 100 minutes, instead of 60, the airport was closed for an hour and 15 minutes.

FAA spokesman Paul Steucke said 23 departures were delayed at National Airport. A few arrivals also were delayed at Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington International airports.

As the last crowds of the Desert Storm celebration converged on the Mall yesterday to see the helicopters, combat field hospitals and Humvees, David Allen, of Arlington, was among them. He and his wife, Robin, had brought their children down to see the Patriot missile system and other military equipment they had heard about during the war.

"It's one thing to see it on TV. It's another to be right there next to a thing that killed so many people."

It gives you, he said, "a perspective of the magnitude of the war."

Staff writers Peter Baker and D'Vera Cohn contributed to this report.