I left a relatively small election night party in downtown Seattle last night to head up to a friend’s house on Capitol Hill, but never made it there.

The atmosphere downtown around 9:30 was festive – Obama had won, and both he & McCain had given their speeches – but not much was going on beyond the honking passing cars and waving, cheering pedestrians. I hopped on the bus at 6th & Pike and made it about two blocks before we ran in to a couple hundred people marching down towards Pike Place Market. Along with a bunch of other folks, I got off the bus and joined the crowd in an impromptu parade. We hooted & hollered our way to 1st and Pike, dragging more and more people along with us, eventually meeting up with the crowd exiting The Stranger’s party at the Showbox.

The mood was amazing and joyful and positive. Strangers high-fived and hugged each other, spontaneous chants of “Yes we can!” and “Obama!” sprung up, people carried signs or banged on makeshift drums, and there was dancing and laughing and crying.

After a half hour or so, the crowd in front of the Market started dying down, and I made my way up to Capitol Hill, where I found an even bigger rally at Pike & Broadway. There were probably two or three thousand people in the streets making merry. I spent almost two hours there, cheering, congratulating, and running into friends in the crowd. It was hard to tear myself away, but sleep beckoned and I’d done all I really wanted to do.

Election Night Rally on Capitol Hill, 2008

Pretty amazing night!

It should be noted that the police, while very much present at the rallies last night, kept their distance and were on their best behavior. They kept people safe (diverting traffic when necessary, etc.), but allowed the revelry to continue without restriction. Well done, SPD.

More pictures of the election night festivities in Seattle here, and some great photos of Obama from the past year or so are up on the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog.

posted November 5, 2008 – 8:52 am
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