Portlanders started popping bottles before noon on Nov. 7.
What better excuse to day drink? President Donald Trump had lost his bid for reelection, and jubilant citizens poured into the streets. Even as state officials announced a record one-day number of new COVID-19 cases—988 of them—this city's residents were too excited to stay home.
A four-year nightmare was ending. And a city Trump had made his scapegoat and testing ground for federal quelling of protest again took to the streets—to party.
In the hours after news outlets declared former Vice President Joe Biden the next president, Portlanders shot fireworks, honked car horns, and held champagne parties in city parks. Residents of Pearl District condo towers banged pots and pans outside their windows, an echo of the nightly ritual of thanking hospital workers and first responders at the start of the pandemic.
A line of honking cars circled Pioneer Courthouse Square, with children waving flags out of sunroofs and windows. The scene was a far cry from the bitter protests of the past four years that often pitted dueling groups against each other, and Portlanders against federal police. Instead, the car cavalcade on Broadway recalled the last Portland Trail Blazers championship parade in 1977.
"Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!" revelers chanted.
That release then gave way to a new stage of suspense: An anxious nation now waits to see if the president will concede, if Republicans will back his false claims of voter fraud, and whether Trump will, at long last, cease to befoul the Oval Office.