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.
“I’m feeling relieved,” one woman in Times Square told MSNBC. “I’m feeling like America made the right decision, and that we’ll be back to the foundation of America, which is equality, coming together and just being the best that we can always be.”
Celebrations also erupted elsewhere around the country — including in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was to speak in the evening — and in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle.
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.
Among the crowd in Washington, D.C., was a law student who is from Southern California. He said he came out to celebrate because he “wanted to be a part of the moment” during “a historic event.”
“It’s pretty jubilant,” he said, describing the atmosphere in the nation’s capital. “It’s like a dance party. Every few minutes, there’s another burst of applause and cheering and singing.”
Another person in the crowd said that mixed with joy is a sense of “dread as to the next few months that we have to endure.”
“I think that we’re pretty excited that we have someone who’s not morally corrupt in the White House, but we’re also really cognizant of progressive values, and we’re waiting to see if Joe and Kamala will listen to the progressive side of the Democratic Party,” the person 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 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.”