The Wonderland Ballroom and her staff have outdone themselves once again. This party, once a small gathering of neighborhood locals, has since expanded to include what looks like half the Northwest quadrant of the District. With Kenyon Street shut down between 11th and 13th, a massive tent at the corner, a stage, a 400,000-watt sound system, roughly one square acre of food trucks, and scores of attendees in sundresses, Sundress Fest is unstoppable.
Naturally, as this party’s grown over the years, not everyone is on the same page as far as attire; I definitely saw more pants this year than previous iterations of the festival. The general spirit of Sundress Fest remains untarnished this year, though. Even the chumps whose masculinity was too fragile to handle a sundress still contributed to a worthy cause.
All of the Sundress Fest’s profits this year go to DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that helps feed the homeless, provides job training for the homeless and struggling, and works tirelessly to build a community in DC without hunger. According to one team member on-site at Sundress Fest, the day’s earnings will pay for millions of meals for those in D.C. who need it most.
The party raged all day. Party Like It’s blasted the crowd with 90’s nostalgia, and got everyone on their feet. The fashion show and corresponding contest gave the crowd backflips and pirouettes, and got everyone yelling from the patio and the asphalt for their favorite sundress-strapped dancer. The DJ cranks the bass, flips on Britney, and turns the crowd into a dancing, sweaty, mostly drunken mess. Hands up in the air, bare feet on the stage, sundresses full of color, the dancing goes on for what feels like days.
It’s just a straightforward, community-based neighborhood party, ending hunger with sundresses.
Words and photos by Jonny Grave
Photos by Nicholas Karlin