Several Tufts students joined members of the Somerville community in a celebration at Davis Square on Saturday, following the victory of former Vice President Joe Biden in the general election.
The informal celebration promptly followed the announcement of Biden as the president-elect. After days of counting mail-in ballots, the Associated Press declared at 11:25 a.m. on Saturday that Biden had won the key swing state of Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency.
The celebration drew out support from students, families and Somerville residents alike. Dozens of community members, who were almost universally wearing masks, stood on the corner of College Avenue and Davis Square, rallying support from cars as they passed through the intersection. Many held signs in support of the Biden-Harris campaign, including some with messages such as ‘Joe!’ and ‘Bye-Don’ written on them.
The celebration continued well past sunset. At one point, a band formed and members of the community began dancing outside of J.P Licks.
Danielle Pagano, a Somerville resident who lives in Porter Square, said she was elated to join in the celebration.
“I’m really elated right now. I’m really excited to be celebrating with the community where I live,” she said.
Tufts students celebrating in Davis Square shared similar excitement for the election’s outcome. Sophomore Jack Flinchbaugh, who traveled to Davis Square after seeing celebrations on CNN, said he felt both relieved and excited about the Biden-Harris campaign’s success and the defeat of President Donald Trump.
“It is a little more celebratory now, but when it first came out, it was just an exhale,” Flinchbaugh said.
Sophomore Mason Goldberg also reflected excitement for both Biden’s win and the Davis Square celebration turnout.
“I’m super happy that everyone is out here … to see the support from everyone is amazing and just to see how many people are just as happy about this as I am,” he said.
Both Goldberg and Flinchbaugh expressed hope for the upcoming Biden administration, and Flinchbaugh said he looks forward to adjustments in the country’s climate change policy.
The event was similar to celebrations across the United States and world. At various locations in Boston, such as the intersection of Boylston and Charles Streets, people gathered to express excitement about the election outcome. Community members in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta reflected a similar spirit and held celebrations. International events also occurred in London and small towns like Ballina, Ireland, where one of Biden’s distant relatives resided.
At Tufts, there has been mixed support for Biden during the campaign trail. Last fall, students rallied support for more progressive candidates, such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, by forming Tufts for Bernie and Tufts for Warren. While a similar group formed for Biden, it was not as publicized or vocal on campus.
Somerville resident Henry Sule, who held a Black Lives Matter banner at the Davis Square celebration, explained that although Biden was not his first choice, he believes that Biden can help push progressive ideas on the national stage.
“Honestly, going into the primaries, Joe Biden wasn’t my first candidate. And I think it’s the same story with a lot of people,” Sule said. “But I’ve come around to him. I think he’s the guy to unite the political spectrum. And it showed that he is willing to progress the progressive agenda.”
Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify the context of a quote.