Thousands of Democratic supporters gathered around the White House and Black Lives Matter Plaza Saturday afternoon to celebrate the Associated Press projection that former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and California Senator Kamala Harris (D) will serve as the 46th President and 49th Vice President of the United States.
Peaceful celebrations echoed throughout the city as hundreds of cars honked their horns and waved posters and flags in celebration.
In the wake of the Tuesday election, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) encouraged residents to exercise their first amendment rights, and after several days of awaiting results of a clear winner, locals and visitors took to the streets in celebration.
In preparation for protests and potential riots, many businesses boarded up their windows and the District blocked off several streets to parking and traffic. As of Saturday evening, all activity in and around the District remained peaceful.
Megan Ganning, a Pennsylvania Biden for President volunteer, attended the celebration and spoke about what it meant to be part of the campaign in the state that ultimately nudged the Biden Harris ticket to the 270 electoral voted needed to win the Presidency.
“I gave my all,” Ganning said. “I put in every hour outside of my work so it means the world to see Pennsylvania go blue and get us to that 270.”
Ganning said she didn’t want to miss the celebration after all of her time and dedication to seeing the Biden-Harris ticket elected on Tuesday.
“It has been a long four years and I just couldn’t wait for this day any longer,” Ganning said. “I’m so happy to be here to see all the work paying off.”
Local DC group, BLM Ladies, including Jessie, Sonya, Tina and Loretta regularly meet at Black Lives Matter Plaza to hand dance. The group expressed enthusiasm for the large gathering and excitement for change in the administration. “We feel like celebrities,” Jessie said. “It’s a blessing for all to join together.”
“We must stay safe,” Sonya said. “It’s a beautiful sight for all nationalities to come together and join together during this time.”
The BLM ladies encouraged the community to come out to the plaza to hand dance and celebrate this historic election with the hand dancing group.
Clara Saks from Silver Spring also attended the outdoor celebration and said she has been out to the plaza several times, but said members of the media often outnumber community members. She expressed excitement for the drastic change today.
“Democracy wins,” Saks said. “We fought a hard fight, an honest fight, we fought with integrity and truthfulness for all Americans.”
Saks said she spoke on behalf of DC area residents saying that they are “so ecstatic to welcome everybody here” and emphasized that the week of inauguration would also bring a “big party” to the District in January.
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with Hill Rag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at [email protected].