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  • The Democratic nominee and now President-elect Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election over Donald Trump.
  • News outlets declared Biden victorious after his lead in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania surpassed 30,000 votes. 
  • Thousands in Washington, DC and across the county took the streets to celebrate the victory for President-elect Biden and loss for President Trump. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Shortly before noon, the news alerts pinged. CNN alerted. For a moment, a pregnant silence.

And then, a shout floated up from the street. A shriek of shock. 

Joe Biden had beaten Donald Trump.

The news quickly spread through the nation's capitol Saturday as mobile phones pinged and television sets blared the news. Cars on 16th Street jubilantly honked their horns while Van Jones cried and the AP tweeted.

Washington DC, which Biden won by a comfortable 93% to Trump's 5%, celebrated the former Vice President's victory on Saturday morning by throwing a city-wide block party, the epicenter of which was at the White House.

In nearby SilverSpring, Maryland, Arohi Pathak abandoned her breakfast and knew she had to get to the White House.

Pathak was one of thousands who spontaneously descended on the White House on Saturday afternoon as the news broke that Trump would no longer be their neighbor.

"It's an amazingly historic moment," said the 46-year-old, who held a sign that read "madam Vice President" in reference to Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, who broke a litany of barriers on Saturday as the first female, first black, and first Indian- American Vice President.

"I'm an immigrant, a woman, I'm from India," Pathak said. "It feels like I have representation for the first time."

Arothi Pathak and her “madam Vice President” sign
Kayla Epstein/Insider

Emotions ran high on Black Lives Matter Plaza, the blocks outside the White House that had been renamed during the protests against racial injustice this summer.

"My emotions really go back to my grandmother," said Keisha Regular, a Brooklyn native who happened to be visiting her friend in DC when the news broke. "She just died in 2018 and for her to see this, she would be overjoyed."

"She would never have believed that a black woman was in White House as Vice President. There's a lot of pride," Regular said, echoing many black woman and girls who reacted to Harris's victory.

Keisha Regular thought of her late grandmother on Saturday, November 7, 2020.
Kayla Epstein/Insider

The weight of the moment was not lost on the people who came to celebrate at the White House, but people also came to release a week's worth of tension.

Davis, a DC native who declined to provide his last name, met Insider on his way to the White House carrying a nearly empty bottle of champagne.

"You know, I've just been waiting for this moment for so long, he said. And now that it's finally here. I could just take a breath." 

And drink.

People at the White House cheered and danced and waved signs. One group carried a cardboard sign that read "BYEEEEEEEEE". Two young boys popped open beers as they sat atop an electrical box. Many brought their dogs, who mostly looked confused.

Revelers scale a bus stop, and men ripped off their shirts.
Kayla Epstein

Trump, for his part, wasn't there. He was golfing a few miles away.

A few blocks away on a popular brunch thoroughfare, diners ordered champagne and rattled tambourines as people in Biden-Harris T-shirts made their way to the White House.

At Floriana, a popular neighborhood spot, residents cheered loudly each time a USPS truck passed.

Back at the White House, Blanche Williams sat on a low wall, her leg propped up and a cigarette perched between her fingers.

"I always knew he was gonna lose," she said, referring to Trump.

The president, for his part, wasn't there to see any of this. He was in Virginia, golfing.

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