ACROSS AMERICA — Just minutes after Democrat Joe Biden was named the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, supporters in cities across the country poured into streets to celebrate the former vice president's unofficial victory.
In Washington, D.C., crowds rallied in Black Lives Matter Plaza, located just steps from the White House and the site of large protests against racial injustice earlier this year. Outside Vaughn’s Lounge in New Orleans, revelers bathed in a champagne shower.
While social distancing was mostly forgotten, nearly everyone wore masks.
The revelry came after The Associated Press and other organizations declared that Biden would become the 46th president of the United States, a call made after unofficial election results in Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, put him over the 270 required to win the presidency.
With the projection, Biden is poised to lead a nation weary of deep division, often sowed by current President Donald Trump, and a pandemic that's infected more than 9.7 million Americans, killed more than 236,000 and left millions without jobs and unable to pay rent.
He also faces the immense challenge of uniting a nation polarized by politics, police brutality and racial injustice.
By his side will be Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris of California. The daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris will be the first woman and the first woman of color to serve in the Oval Office.
In a statement released Saturday, Biden declared it was time for the battered nation “to unite and to heal.”
In a statement released shortly after the announcement, Biden took to social media to thank the country and express his gratitude.
"America, I'm honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country," Biden tweeted. "The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me."
Biden is scheduled to address the nation at 8 p.m. ET. Watch it live on Patch.
Here's a look at how voters in some U.S. cities states are celebrating ahead of Joe Biden's first speech as president-elect:
New York City
When Jonah Camiel first heard cheers outside his Crown Heights apartment, he thought his neighbors were having a party. But as they grew he checked the news and confirmed what he already knew — Biden was declared the projected winner by the AP and other outlets.
Camiel got on his motorized skateboard and followed the crowds already flocking outside. His journey led him to the Barclays Center, where a large impromptu crowd drew celebratory honks from passing cars.
"It's a good day," he said, his smile evident through his face mask. Read more by Patch's Matt Troutman
Despite blustery and cold weather, Angelenos both in support and against president Donald Trump hit the streets in the city as early as 8 a.m.
By 11 a.m. a large crowd had already gathered in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate Biden and Harris' victory. Hundreds were also seen flooding downtown streets holding banners, combining many organized marches that were planned for Saturday into one giant celebration. Read more by Patch's Kat Schuster
Cheers, honks and the "Electric Slide" boomed through downtown Atlanta Saturday afternoon after Biden was declared president-elect. Trump's campaign said court challenges will proceed Monday, and Republican leaders in Georgia, including Gov. Brian Kemp, have been silent so far on the projected Biden win. Read more by Patch's Kathleen Sturgeon
The news brought crowds of revelers to the streets of Chicago, where some celebrated outside Trump Tower and others gathered in Grant Park. Illinois officials also reacted to Biden's projected win. Gov. J.B. Pritzker — who is isolated due to COVID-19 exposure — congratulated Biden and Harris. Read more by Patch's Shannon Antinori
As soon as the race was called, Biden supporters began to gather to march through the streets of Boston in celebration. Drivers honked their horns around the city, and Massachusetts elected Democrats congratulated the presidential ticket. Read more by Patch's Chris Huffaker
Car horns and clanging bells could be heard in the cities and suburbs of New Jersey soon after the networks projected Biden's win. Gov. Phil Murphy congratulated Biden, saying a change in the national response to the coronavirus will "save lives." Read more by Patch's Tom Davis
An eruption of dance parties, horn honking and cheers resounded up and down the Golden State as news outlets reported that Biden had defeated Donald Trump Saturday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who hails from Oakland, became the first Black woman and first Asian American to win the post — a historic feat for California. Read more by Patch's Kat Schuster.