Biden wins: Official word brings celebration in the streets

University of Delaware graduates Erin Dougherty and Sean Peden holding a sign supporting President-elect Joe Biden. Delaware State News/Tim Mastro

WILMINGTON — A chorus of car horns filled the Wilmington Riverfront as occupants leaned out windows and sun roofs waving Biden-Harris banners, yard signs and American flags.

Occasionally a car stereo would blare Queens’ “We Are The Champions” and the growing number of pedestrians would sing a long.
Supporters of president-elect Joe Biden flocked to his campaign headquarters in the area around Wilmington’s Chase Center Saturday after word came in the longtime Delawarean was officially projected to win the presidential election over current President Donald Trump.

The result was declared around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. When Candice Pressley, a 42-year-old Philadelphian who was born in Wilmington, saw the notification, she immediately traveled to Wilmington along with her son and her mother.

“It’s really cool,” Ms. Pressley said. “I was born right here in Wilmington. Wilmington Hospital. Joe has always been like Uncle Joe to us, near and dear to our heart. We’re really excited for him.”

Ms. Pressley, wearing a shirt with the Muhammad Ali quote “I’m going to show you how great I am,” said the main reason she came down was because she wanted her 9-year-old son Colin Blackwood to see history.

“Donald Trump is a bully who is tearing the country apart and Joe is going to put it back together,” Colin said.

Ms. Pressley’s mother Lenard Everett has worked for Wilmington’s City Council for 33 years. She said president-elect Biden would stop by the building to say hello throughout his political career.

“To see him everyday, to know he was on that train going to D.C. for us, he’s been doing this for 40 years, he deserves this,” Ms. Everett, 65, said. “We’re mending the souls of America. He’ll bring us together from the top to the bottom.”

Wilmington Police closed Justison Street in the area north of the Chase Center to vehicle traffic just shy of 3 p.m. in anticipation of the arrival of president-elect Biden and vice-president elect Kamala Harris at 8 p.m. for their victory speech.

People converged on the Wilmington Riverfront to be near the Chase Center, which has become the unofficial campaign headquarters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this week as the nation awaited presidential election results. Delaware State News/Tim Mastro

Foot traffic continued however as the fans chanted and waved their Biden-Harris paraphernalia, encouraged by residents of Wilmington Riverfront apartment buildings, cheering from their decks.

One member of the caravan who was headed toward the stage twirled his Biden-Harris flag and pointed out the nice 72-degree November weather, much to the crowd’s amusement as he bellowed, “Even Mother Nature agrees with us!”

Among the crowd were plenty of University of Delaware shirts, hats and signs. Erin Dougherty and Sean Peden, a couple who met during their freshmen year at UD and live in Wilmington, brought a sign which read “Bye Don” — a play on Biden — along with their University of Delaware T-shirts.

“I think it’s going to be an honor to have gone to the same college as the President of the United States,” Ms. Dougherty, 24, said. “He definitely embodies Delaware and will shine.”

“It’s tremendously important,” she added of the 2020 election. “We haven’t been alive for all that long but it’s the most important election of our lifetime. Then you have people in their 90s that are saying its their most important election. This current administration has just been characterized by hate and division. So I think getting somebody in the presidency who does not glorify hatred is going to make a tremendous difference in the tone of our nation.”

Mr. Peden said, “It’s exciting to have a Delawarean in the Oval Office. I think he’ll represent us well.”