‘The best feeling’: Downtown Northampton erupts in celebration of Biden victory

  • Cars parade along Main Street Saturday in downtown Northampton. Some brought signs and flags to commemorate the Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Hector Lomelin of South Hadley cheers along with the crowd in an American eagle outfit Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Crowds cheer and wave Pride flags Saturday on Main Street in Northampton as people celebrate Joe Biden’s election win over President Donald Trump. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • A crowd breaks out in impromptu dancing Saturday in downtown Northampton to celebrate the news of Joe Biden being declared the winner of the presidential election. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • A parade of honking cars with cheering people proceeds through downtown Northampton on Saturday as Elena Volpe of Northampton urges them on. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Cassidy Bowman and his daughter Scarlet Bowman, from Northampton, cheer over Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • A Saturday trip to the farmers market in downtown Northampton turned into a celebration for Emily Lopez and Caitlyn Lawrence as news of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump spread. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Crowds converged in downtown Northampton on Saturday, bringing signs, flags and cheers to celebrate Joe Biden’s election victory. Ariel Mehler of Amherst shows off her sign to passing cars. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Diane Reynolds of Florence, Ellen Clegg of Northampton and Raphael Torn of New York City play a festive dance beat for the crowds celebrating Joe Biden’s election victory Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Ellen Clegg of Northampton and Diane Reynolds of Florence play a festive dance beat for the crowds celebrating Joe Biden’s election victory Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Andrew Kilduff of Northampton holds up a sign during election celebrations Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Andrew Kilduff of Northampton holds up a sign during election celebrations Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Hector Lomelin, a Texas transplant now living in South Hadley, joins the cheerful crowd in an American eagle outfit Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Chris Craig of Amherst dons a Joe Biden mask in honor of the new president-elect during a celebration Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Shai K. and Jess F. of Northampton embrace during a celebration Saturday in downtown Northampton after hearing the news that Joe Biden had been elected the 46th president of the United States. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Cars paraded up Main Street on Saturday in downtown Northampton, with horns honking and passengers cheering along with the raucous crowd celebrating former Vice President Joe Biden’s election as the nation’s 46th president. Some even brought their campaign signs along. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Elena Volpe of Northampton celebrates the election of Joe Biden as cheering carloads roll down Main Street Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Cars paraded along Main Street Saturday in downtown Northampton, honking horns and cheering along with the raucous crowd celebrating former Vice President Joe Biden’s election victory. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Emily Lopez and Caitlyn Lawrence experienced a Saturday trip to the farmers market turn into a celebration as news of Joe Biden's election broke out Saturday morning in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

  • Cassidy Bowman and his daughter Scarlet Bowman of Northampton cheer at the news of Joe Biden’s victory Saturday in downtown Northampton. FOR THE GAZETTE/SABATO VISCONTI

Staff Writer
Published: 11/7/2020 6:40:59 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Hundreds of exuberant people took to downtown Saturday in a spontaneous celebration after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of his race against President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.

About a half an hour after The Associated Press called the election for Biden late Saturday morning, people quickly lined Main Street in the city. Many participants waved at constantly honking cars passing by, some held campaign signs for the president-elect, and others waved American and Pride flags in the warm weather.

“I think there’s a sense of relief,” said Camilo Viveiros of southeastern Massachusetts. He said he voted for the Green-Rainbow Party candidate this election. “People want to be together in this moment, after four years of the Trump era.”

The end of this year’s contentious presidential election came four days after polls closed across the nation Tuesday. It ended after the AP and other major news organizations called Pennsylvania for Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman and first woman of color to serve as vice president of the United States. As of Saturday evening, according to the AP, Biden had 290 electoral votes compared to Trump’s 214, with results from states such as Georgia and North Carolina still outstanding. A candidate wins the presidency when they reach 270 electoral votes.

Shortly before media outlets called the election Saturday, Trump falsely tweeted that he won the election. In a statement Saturday and without offering details, Trump said that his campaign will “start prosecuting our case in court.” The president’s campaign earlier in the week filed lawsuits in battleground states that, among other goals, seek to halt vote counting.

As people began taking to the streets Saturday in Northampton, the area’s congressional representation began congratulating Biden and Harris on their win in their own statements. “The people have spoken,” said U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, “and the goodness of America is shining through.”

“We will soon have a President and Vice President who believe in science, who defend human rights and stand up to bullies around the world, and who see the common dignity of every person on this planet,” McGovern said in the statement. “After years of divisiveness, the power of the White House will once again be used to bring our country together instead of tearing us apart.”

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, said in his statement on the results that “decency, compassion, and competency have won.”

“Now, it’s time for Americans to unite behind the Biden-Harris Administration so we can pursue science-based solutions to end the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to getting right to work with President-elect Biden on an economic recovery program that includes health care, infrastructure and funding for local governments,” Neal said. “Millions of Americans are still out of work, and too many small businesses are still barely getting by. I strongly urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to act swiftly on these common-sense priorities.”

Back in Northampton, as some banged on pots and pans, others danced and truck drivers loudly chimed in with the endless cacophony of bleating horns, 37-year-old Easthampton resident and Biden voter Katie Ward said over the cheers of people around her that she was “overjoyed.”

“I hope there can be some healing,” Ward said. “I think we still have such a far way to go.”

Biden voter Juliana Rosas, 24, of Northampton, was standing outside of Thornes Marketplace and said that she’s “been crying every five minutes.” She said that she hopes for “less hatred” over the next four years.

“I don’t even know what to say,” she said. “I am in shock. But it might be the best feeling I’ve ever experienced.”

Holding Pride flags on Main Street on Saturday were Emily Lopez and Caitlyn Lawrence, both of Northampton, who voted for Biden. The two said they were heading to the farmers market when they discovered the impromptu celebration.

“I feel so grateful to live in a place like Northampton where this is such a joyous day for so many people,” Lopez said. “There’s work to be done and I hope the community will continue to come together to do the work that needs to be done to push this country in the direction that we want it to go.”

Standing on the median in the middle of the rainbow crosswalk was Amherst resident Ariel Mehler, 32, who was wearing a face mask featuring Harris and a cardboard sign that read “‘45, you’re fired!’ – 46.”

“I’ve been waiting for this day for four years, since he was elected,” Mehler said. “It’s human decency that was at stake, and not a difference in political beliefs anymore. And it shows that we won’t stand for hate.”

Joe Nickerson of Whately said he and Jenny McLaughlin stumbled upon Saturday’s demonstration in Northampton and decided to jump in. Holding a homemade sign, McLaughlin said they had “cardboard and sharpie ready for such an occasion.”

As for whether Trump will ultimately accept the results of the election, Nickerson said, “hopefully the rest of the institutions keep it in check.”

Over in Amherst on Saturday, a similar but smaller group stood at the corners of Main, South Pleasant and Amity streets. Stefani Cunningham, 20, said she heard the cheering and honking outside of her window shortly after she woke up and learned about the election results. She said she was “looking forward to unity” over the next four years.

“Like it or not, this is a huge historical moment in our country,” Cunningham said. “This country has been so divided the past four years and I think people are really happy that now we’re going to have a president who is more likely to bring us together than tear us apart.”

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.


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