Celebrations in Portland, Oregon

This is a pretty awesome story about my home state celebrations posted in the Oregonian. I couldn’t stop grinning. Okay, they kinda went and waggled their butts at the republicans at the Benson. But there was definitely a spirit of fun, not hostility. Heh.

Obama celebration builds in downtown Portland

Hundreds of people took the streets of downtown Portland about 9:45 tonight to celebrate Sen. Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential campaign.

The crowd, which included a dance group known as the the Lions of Batucada, appeared to gather at Pioneer Courthouse Square, then formed a conga line and danced north along Southwest Broadway until it reached the Benson Hotel, where the Republican Party was holding its post-election events. video link here

“It feels like a different county in a sense,” said Philip Todd, 52, of Tualatin, who had come from the show to check out the sounds. “It looks like a weight has been lifted off of them.”

Revelers in downtown Portland celebrate the election of Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency.

People young and old of several races and colors danced together, a few without their shoes. Some in the growing crowd carried their dogs, a couple waved American flags and one, hoisted a framed poster of Obama above his head.

Caroline Morris, 36, and Jon Wei, 44, both visiting from Austin, Texas, for work, brought their 8-week-old baby.

“We’re staying in the Heathman and we heard the drums,” Morris said. “We didn’t want to stay in our hotel room — it was too exciting — so we woke up the baby.”

Police responded, but seemed to be concentrating on trying to keep Broadway open to traffic.

The group was at least a block long before stopping in front of the Benson, where a cacophony of chants and horns filled the air.

As cars traveling up Broadway honked, the band paraded up and out of the bowl, across the street and stopped to gather a crowd in front of Nordstrom.

There, Juan Orduz cheered and pointed to his three young children as cars passed, “They won, they won.”

Orduz said he’d spent the day canvassing for Obama and picking up ballots with his 8-year-old, 3-year-old and 4-month old.

“They’re going to have a better future now,” he said. 

Elsewhere in Portland, police also were responding to numerous reports of explosions. While some people reported them as gunshots, most turned out to be fireworks, one officer reported.

— Stuart Tomlinson and Laura Gunderson

And then there’s this:

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11 thoughts on “Celebrations in Portland, Oregon

  1. Awwwwwww, A. There ya went and made me cry. I haven’t been this proud and hopeful in 8 years.

    Take back our dignity!

    Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the muuuu-sic!

  2. Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!
    Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!

    Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!
    Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!

    Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!
    Woooooooooo hoooooooooooooo!

  3. My daughter was out there. I haven’t heard from her so I’m waiting to hear from her after work. I’ll have to get all the first hand reports! Sounds like fun.

  4. *grins* I hear happy people out there.

    Bo- Aw indeed. I loved your comment. I got choked up too! The conga line…. how happy does a population hafta be to spontaneously form a conga line?

    It is a brand new day.

    Ombuds- Yer just cracking me up, I see your comments on all my comment threads.

    Truly, I know exactly how you feel.

    Corina- Oh, she was right there in it? I wish I’d been, that’s awesome. Can’t believe they went dancing up to the Benson. That’s something out of a story book. :)

  5. The spontaneous celebrations were totally amazing. I’m just glad they called the race by my bedtime (those of us who get up at 4 a.m. tend to nod off early. Heh.)

  6. That’s one thing I was blown away by, watching TV and seeing people pouring out into the streets, in Washington, in all of the big cities, so full of joy and hope and pride. So much patriotism and love of country. I didn’t expect to see that. I’ve never seen this reaction to an election before, at least not in the United States.

    And that video brought tears to my eyes as well. My sisters live in Portland, and one of them went looking for a NYTimes today, and they had all been bought up.

    History, and for the first time in awhile, it feels like GOOD history. I won’t even say the first time in 8 years, because I didn’t feel nearly this hopeful or happy when Clinton won in ’92.

  7. mad- 4am?! That’s obscene. Are you a baker? A bicycling baker boy? Fantasy fodder. (This is getting awkwardly alliterative).

    tpgoddess- I’ve never seen anything like it, at least not inspired by elections.

    ybonesy- lol … it’s a cool city. My brother lives there. I’ll let him know about his new bride.

    J- Exactly! I just wrote that, this was so strange- the completely spontaneous *joy* all over the nation.

    I hope they do good.

    Smiler- Oh, I just couldn’t believe, reading the reactions from other nations. On one hand you have all this world-wide approval, on the other the poor guy’s been anointed all of 24 hours, and he’s already hearing from world leaders what they want from the new president, what they expect from him.

    It’s a good thing he starts his day exercising, cus this is gonna be four years of ‘hit the ground running’.

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