Biden's win sparks street celebrations around the country

Minyvonne Burke and Natalia Abrahams and Dennis Romero
·4 min read

Joe Biden's win in the presidential election sparked impromptu street celebrations around the country Saturday.

Within seconds of the race being called, a crowd at Black Lives Matter plaza outside the White House erupted in cheers.

Chants of "USA" and "This is what democracy looks like" broke out as one woman popped a bottle of champagne and sprayed it over the crowd.

In New York City, revelers poured out of their homes to celebrate outside on a remarkably mild November day. A huge crowd gathered in Times Square, while in some other neighborhoods cars honked their horns as pedestrians lining the sidewalks cheered and applauded.

New Yorkers also cheered Biden's victory at Grand Army Plaza, Columbus Circle, Washington Square Park and near Brooklyn's Fort Greene Park.

Meanwhile, celebrations erupted around the country, including in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was to speak in the evening, and in Atlanta, Seattle and Minneapolis.

In Chicago, a video showed a person outside cheering and banging a pot while a child with a tambourine broke out into a dance. And in Miami, diners could be seen clapping and cheering as Biden's win was announced.

Philadelphia's Independence Mall was another the site of revelry.

"I am excited," celebrant Raven Jordon told NBC Philadelphia. "I am really hoping this will be a new era."

In the crowd in Washington, D.C., was Tiana Solomonn, 24, a clinical lab associate who said the election of Kamala Harris as vice president will inspire Black women to continue striving.

"I think she symbolizes more hope for us as a race, and as also as women to empower ourselves to do better and to know that we can make an impactful change to America," she said.

Brianna Martin, 35, who works for the city, said Harris' ascension means, "We made it."

"We're seen and we're free," she said. "That’s how I feel."

Becky Turner, 33, said she wanted her young son to experience the jubilation at Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House.

"We wanted to bring him to Black Lives Matter because we have hope for an inclusive government, and for what our future can look like, and I have goosebumps even telling you that," she said.

Leonard Randolf, 50, from nearby Charles County, Maryland, said the election gives him hope that the United States will be seen in a better light.

“I would like to see our standing with the world get back," he said.

In New York City, one of the many people outside celebrating said Biden's win will help the younger generation.

"This moment is very important for them," she said. "The last four years have been horrible, and I'm so glad to be here for this rebirth and this rejuvenation, and giving these kids hope that the future is a better future for them."

In California, people celebrated in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland, where the mayor, Libby Schaaf, expressed pride that Harris, who is from Oakland, will ascend to the vice presidency.

“I hope you can all hear the sounds of pure joy and pride coming from Oakland streets this afternoon,” Schaaf said at a gathering of supporters and reporters. “Our own daughter of Oakland, Kamala Harris, has made history today.”

“In Oakland we are hella proud,” she said, using a Bay Area superlative, “and hella relieved.”

In Beverly Hills, where Trump supporters have been assembling weekly at Beverly Gardens Park, demonstrators were back Saturday, police said.

The beach community of Encinitas, California, was the site last summer of protests against social distancing rules. But on Saturday, Biden supporters there rejoiced and waved an American flag.

In a statement, President-elect Biden said: "I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice-President-elect Harris ... With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation."

The victory ended one of the most tumultuous and longest campaigns in modern history. Biden will be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president on Jan. 20 with Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice president. She will be the first female, first Black and first South Asian American to hold that position.

While many across the country rejoiced, some small crowds of pro-Trump groups lamented the announcement of Biden's victory. In Lansing, Michigan, a crowd that gathered outside the state Capitol chanted "USA! USA!" and "We won't stop."