DC area celebrates Biden election call (Photos)

People climb a Metrobus stop on 16th street near the White House after major networks called the 2020 election for former Vice President Joe Biden. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

A man climbs a stoplight at the intersection of 16th and H streets with a Biden-Harris banner after major networks declared his victory over incumbent President Donald Trump. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

A mother and daughter wearing t-shirts supporting President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)

Signs at the entrance of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)

A man skateboards down K Street, NW, with a Joe Biden flag in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7.
A man skateboards down K Street, NW, with a Joe Biden flag in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)

A visitor to Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7.
A visitor to Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)

Messages spray-painted on concrete barriers at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7. (Courtesy Shannon Finney Photography)

celebration
People celebrate the announcement of Joe Biden being elected as the next president. (WTOP/Andrea Cambron)

Crowds flock outside the White House on Saturday as they celebrate the announcement of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Traffic has ground to a halt for blocks around the White House as people drive around honking their horns and some even standing out of windows waving flags and signs to celebrate the announcement that former Vice President, Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. As votes continue to be counted in the race against incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, people have begun to congregate in cities across America after news outlets announced Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: People gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza to celebrate former Vice President Joe Bidens victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election near the White House on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier this morning several news outlets called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden after a multi-day delay in the results while the country waited for four contentious states to finish counting ballots. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Representative Eleanor Holmes-Norton reacts to the CNN announcement that Joe Biden has been named President-Elect during the Count Every Vote Rally In Washington D.C. at McPherson Square on November 07, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn)

Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden wave signs at the entrance to Trump National golf club in Sterling, Va., Saturday Nov 7, 2020. Trump was at the facility. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden wave signs at the entrance to Trump National golf club in Sterling, Va., Saturday Nov 7, 2020. Trump was at the facility. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, react to the presidential race being called in Joe Biden's favor, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, react to the presidential race being called in Joe Biden’s favor, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza react to the presidential race being called in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza react to the presidential race being called in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A D.C. metrobus had “Joe won” on its display on Saturday. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Passengers in a car in D.C.’s DuPont Circle hold up signs celebrating Kamala Harris’ promotion to Vice President elect with Joe Biden’s electoral college victory projection on Saturday. (WTOP/Scott Gelman)

People having a picnic in Lincoln Park in D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood celebrate Joe Biden’s electoral college victory on Saturday. (WTOP/Sarabeth Hensley)

Police block a road near the White House as crowds fill the streets after Joe Biden was announced the president-elect.

A woman is seen coming out of the top of a car as traffic is stopped in D.C. after Joe Biden was announced the president-elect.

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: People gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza to celebrate former Vice President Joe Bidens victory over President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election near the White House on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. Earlier this morning several news outlets called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden after a multi-day delay in the results while the country waited for four contentious states to finish counting ballots. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Cars are gridlocked at Dupont Circle after Joe Biden is announced as the president-elect.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: People celebrate in the streets outside the White House after the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamal Harris winning the election on , Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2020 in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: People celebrate in the streets outside the White House after the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamal Harris winning the election on , Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2020 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Fireworks explode above Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as thousands wait to hear President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Fireworks explode above Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as thousands wait to hear President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

People react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

People watch and react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People watch and react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

People watch a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People watch a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Two women embrace each other as they cry in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House while watching President-elect Joe Biden speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Two women embrace each other as they cry in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House while watching President-elect Joe Biden speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather around a woman in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as she holds up her cellphone playing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaking from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather around a woman in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as she holds up her cellphone playing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaking from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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A man skateboards down K Street, NW, with a Joe Biden flag in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7.
A visitor to Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 7.
celebration
Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden wave signs at the entrance to Trump National golf club in Sterling, Va., Saturday Nov 7, 2020. Trump was at the facility. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, react to the presidential race being called in Joe Biden's favor, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. Democrat Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza react to the presidential race being called in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. His victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: People celebrate in the streets outside the White House after the announcement of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamal Harris winning the election on , Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2020 in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Fireworks explode above Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as thousands wait to hear President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
People react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
People watch and react to a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People watch a victory speech by President-elect Joe Biden while celebrating at Black Lives Matter Plaza, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House to watch President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Two women embrace each other as they cry in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House while watching President-elect Joe Biden speak from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: Thousands gather around a woman in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as she holds up her cellphone playing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaking from Delaware on November 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. News outlets announced today that Joe Biden had reached the number of electoral votes needed to win the election and become the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

As night fell on D.C., thousands of people continued celebrating the news that former Vice President Joe Biden had become President-elect earlier Saturday.

WTOP’s reporters were out in the city all day, and as the evening hours progressed, they said a beer, champagne and music-fueled party dominated the streets close to the White House.

In the same neighborhood, just five months earlier, social justice protesters had been forcibly removed from Lafayette Square as President Donald Trump walked two blocks to St.John’s Episcopal Church to take a photo with a bible.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez was on the street in late May, and he was out again on Saturday. He said it was a different atmosphere five months later. While the party raged, there was still one aspect of protest: a banner read “Arrest Trump.”

November 7, 2020 | LISTEN: Night falls at Black Lives Matter Plaze (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

The only time the music in the plaza, which ranged from D.C.’s famed Go-Go to the horns of a Mariachi band throughout the day, came when someone connected a speaker to their phone in order to play President-elect Biden’s victory speech from an outdoor stage in Delaware.


With anxiety high in the District during the few post-election days this week, many residents were ready to party Saturday after having spent multiple hours sitting on the edge of their seats and checking their smartphone for election news.

Here’s how it unfolded:

Biden’s victory hailed by dancing and blasting horns

Shortly after former Vice President Joe Biden was announced president-elect, crowds rushed out to celebrate on D.C.’s streets, and thousands gathered near the White House.

At 15th Street and K Street NW, people were inspired to dance due to the likely election outcome.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez said the crowds started at the White House and branched off throughout much of the city.

WTOP's Alejandro Alvarez walks the streets of D.C. as thousands celebrate Joe Biden being named president-elect

WTOP’s Dick Uliano said a brass band started playing for crowds that gathered at McPherson Square.

Uliano spoke with revelers in downtown D.C. for a report as the afternoon wore on in the square, just a few blocks Northwest of the White House. The theme seemed to be celebrating a return to normalcy after four years of Donald Trump.

November 7, 2020 | LISTEN: Celebrating a return to normalcy in McPherson Square. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Alvarez describes the scene as “one massive party with the amount of people yelling and honking downtown and more headed in.”

Some people brought Champagne to enjoy in the streets as they celebrated Biden’s projected win and one jumped onto the roof of a nearby car.

Alvarez, walking close to Black Lives Matter Plaza, said much of the Champagne cork-popping had left a sticky-sweet residue of alcohol along the blocks close to the White House.

On Northeast D.C.’s H Street, cars blasted their horns and pedestrians celebrated in the street shortly after the news spread at 11:30 a.m. One man walked down Florida Avenue NW carrying an American flag, yelling “Biden!” every few seconds, as cars driving by honked in affirmation.

LISTEN: Cars and trucks honk horns to celebrate Biden win announcement. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Reaction on Capitol Hill

WTOP’s Sarah Beth Hensley, reporting from Capitol Hill’s Lincoln Park, spoke to a group of D.C. residents who were celebrating Biden’s victory.

“For people who’ve lived here a really long time, this feels like the end of a long four-year nightmare,” said Michael Wallace. “I got a text from a friend abroad who put it really well: ‘normalcy may now resume.'”

People having a picnic in Lincoln Park in D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood celebrate Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory on Saturday. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)

Becky Pfordresher, who was part of the picnicking group, said “the trust in institutions and systems is really important, and I feel like a figure like Biden, who is a trusted source, is very grounding, very anchoring. It helps to feel like there’s a solid foundation underneath you again.”

By midafternoon Saturday, WTOP’s Alvarez said another block in D.C. had been cut off to traffic – 17th Street NW, and the extra street open to pedestrians had eased the crunch along 16th Street.

Back on the streets near the White House, WTOP’s Dick Uliano said the party-like atmosphere continued at dusk, as he saw a Mariachi band playing at an intersection was just five months ago two blocks from the epicenter of protests in D.C.

November 7, 2020 | LISTEN: Mariachi band plays in downtown D.C. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Reaction in Maryland

WTOP’s Kate Ryan spoke with those on the streets of Takoma Park, Maryland along New Hampshire Avenue on the border of Maryland and D.C. on Saturday afternoon. One resident, Gabra Moussa, originally of Cameroon, said he was not able to vote because he’s not an American citizen, but he was optimistic that Biden’s election would elicit some change, in spite of some hard work ahead.

“The last four years have been a lot of upside-down,” Moussa said. “Joe Biden has to bring the whole country together, and it’s difficult work.”

Glennys Medina said the election of Joe Biden, and the elevation of Sen. Kamala Harris to Vice President is inspirational. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Glennys Medina, one of a number of women who own businesses in the neighborhood, said the Biden ticket, and with it, the elevation of Sen. Kamala Harris to Vice President will serve as an inspiration for women of color.

“I hope that she can make it to the presidency, those are my hopes,” said Medina, who owns Emma Hair Salon, near the intersection of University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue.

Nora Portillo, of El Alazan Western Wear, said Biden’s election has her hopeful about change ahead.

“It’s going to be like a 180,” she said.

Reaction in Charlottesville

About 120 miles southwest of the District, residents of Charlottesville, Virginia reacted to the news. The city, which is home to the University of Virginia, saw itself in headlines the first summer of President Donald Trump’s term after Heather Heyer, a counter protester during a white supremacist group’s rally was killed.

On Saturday, Don Gathers, the Deacon of First Baptist Church, said an impromptu celebration gathered on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. He talked with WTOP’s Neal Augenstein.

He said he was “exhilarated, exhausted and rejuvenated,” among other things. “Like minded people,” Gather said, heard a call via social media “to celebrate, and dance in the streets. … It’s been a long, arduous, four-year journey.”

The Charlottesville dance party was not far from where Heyer was killed when a man drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters.

Hawes Spencer, a reporter in Charlottesville, said “these people are trying to put some things behind them, and it looks like Charlottesville is in one piece.”

 

 

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez, Dick Uliano, Scott Gelman, Melissa Howell, Sarah Beth Hensley and Dan Friedell contributed to this report.

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