Honking Biden-Harris parade snakes through Iowa City after winners announced

A vigil early Saturday morning. A pro-Biden car parade. Iowa Citians woke Saturday morning to the news that Joe Biden was elected president and Kamala Harris the nation’s first woman vice president.


Jenna Galligan

Members of an impromptu celebratory car parade gather for a portrait outside of the IMU on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2020. After hearing the announcement that Joe Biden won the presidential election on CNN, Iowa City resident Nora Boerner and a group of friends decided to stop by a hardware store to pick up flags and drive them around downtown Iowa City. “Someone yelled, ‘What’s the point?’ and I said celebrating!” Boerner said. In addition to celebrating, Boerner said the group’s intention was to reclaim the American flag. “I haven’t felt like flying it for a while,” she said. The Associated Press declared Former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election after calling a Democratic victory in Pennsylvania at 10:25 a.m. CST.

Claire Benson, News Reporter

Cheers from the Hawkeye football game mingled with honking horns and waving American flags Saturday afternoon in an impromptu celebration after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were announced the next president and vice president of the United States.

Since Nov. 3, news outlets incrementally updated election results from battleground states including Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, leaving Americans anxiously awaiting the official results as to who would be the 46th president of the United States.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, news outlets announced that Biden had won Pennsylvania, gaining its 20 electoral votes and securing his spot as the next president. Across the nation, Americans celebrated this win on social media as well as attending in-person gatherings, both organized and impromptu, one being held in Iowa City.

Iowa City resident Nora Boerner, an Iowa City community member, organized a car parade this afternoon, where cars drove through downtown Iowa City, honking their horns, waving American flags, and ringing bells.

“Iowa City! Meet the Boerners, McElroys and others at the IMU at 1:00 p.m. today for a celebratory honking rally through downtown. Come one, come all! Bring your cowbells! Ring those bells! Honk those horns!”, Boerner said in a post on Facebook shortly before the parade began.

With the Hawkeye football game drawing Iowa City community members to bars and restaurants to watch the game, onlookers that were downtown along the sidewalks and eating outdoors responded to the parade with waves and cheers.

UI second-year student Myles Evangelista said they were woken up by receiving the news of Biden winning the election this morning, which they said was rather exciting. 

“I was on a call with my girlfriend and she got a text from one of her friends and immediately relayed the news to me, and I was about to fall back asleep but that woke me up right away,” Evangelista said. 

Evangelista said they voted for the first time this election, causing them to be more politically involved than in previous years as well as invested in the election outcome.

“I’m a first-time voter so this is probably like the most involved with politics I’ve ever been,” Evangelista said. “I’ve had to make some tough calls with people I was once friends with and have some disagreements and all that, but this is probably the most involved I have been. I don’t know – it’s all very new, but very rewarding to see everything play out.”

Evangelista said the election results didn’t surprise her as Biden steadily pulled ahead in the final days after Nov. 3, but they were relieved to finally have a confirmed winner as election “night” dragged on for days.

“I was just nice to finally get the confirmation after like days,” Evangelista said. “I was thrilled with the results.”

UI first-year student Kallista Elwood said she discovered the updated election results via social media, when she opened Instagram this morning. 

Elwood said she was not surprised by the results, as she has been following the election closely, however, she was anxiously awaiting the results, since she supported Biden and he was previously holding only a slight margin of votes over Trump.

“It was pretty anxious,” Elwood said. “It felt very strange to have to like to continue on with class while also waiting for a big world altering thing to happen.”

Elwood said she thinks Biden being elected into office will further continue positive change occurring in the country.

“I think there will hopefully still be people advocating for the betterment of America, like still going for Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, and Indigenous rights,” Elwood said. “I think this is just a step in the right direction but not necessarily the solution.”

UI third-year student Lorren Testa said he is anxious but hopeful about Biden’s win, especially during the current divided political climate of the U.S.

“I would describe my general attitude to be cautiously optimistic, you know, seeing where things go once Biden is placed in office,” Testa said. “I’m interested to see where things go because there’s been a very, very, distinct politics in the last four or so years, so I’m kind of curious to see how that changes a bit.”