Hundreds of Joe Biden supporters cheered and sounded car horns as they and members of the president-elect’s family gathered at his election headquarters in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware Saturday ahead of a victory party.
After TV networks declared Biden, 77, the winner of Tuesday’s election shortly before 11:30 am (1530 GMT) scores of Democrats descended on the Chase Center, where the next president of the United States will lead celebrations later.
Inside the adjacent Westin Hotel, Biden’s family and campaign team expressed their delight at Biden rendering Donald Trump a one-term president.
“I’m overjoyed,” Biden’s younger brother Jim Biden told AFP.
Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said she had been on a run when her mother called to tell her that CNN had called the election for Biden.
“Ecstatic — a great day for this county,” she told reporters, after walking through the hotel’s lobby in a white Biden t-shirt.
Shortly before the long-awaited announcement, Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens described the result as “wonderful.”
“It’s a wonderful thing for us but it’s a better thing for America,” she told reporters.
Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to Biden, said his team were “elated and excited.”
“This is a win, frankly, for America,” she told reporters.
Outside the venue’s perimeter fence, Biden fans waved balloons, American flags and held up Biden-Harris placards. They shared food and drink as they waited in hopes of catching a glimpse of Biden later.
The president-elect is due to take to the stage in the center’s parking lot around 8:00 pm (0000 GMT Sunday).
Several hundred cars full of supporters are expected to attend the drive-in rally for an election victory party that will be unlike any other due to social distancing restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fireworks and music are expected. Biden will be joined by his wife Jill, America’s next vice president Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff.
A little over a mile away, in downtown Wilmington, locals expressed an outpouring of joy at the sleepy city’s favourite son ascending to the highest office in the country.
“I’m happy, I wanted Trump out,” said 31-year-old Kristina Moncada.
“It’s awesome because he knows the area. He’s just more relatable, he’s a genuine guy. He means what he says and he’ll keep his word.”
Aaron Fisher, 31, cut short his gym session when he heard the news to get ready to head to the celebrations.
“It’s about time. They’ve been having us wait for a good while for the results. I felt like we knew it was gonna happen. It’s like delayed gratification,” he told AFP.