At around 11:30 on election night, I started hearing honks and cheers coming from U Street. Four years ago I stayed home during the spontaneous street party, somehow thinking it would not go on for so long. So this year I headed out to see what was happening.

Making Noise

I first went to 14th & U, where police had closed entry to the 1300 block of U St. There were groups of people celebrating, and occasionally a big cheer would erupt when someone approached holding up an Obama poster.

Hanging Out Outside Ben's

The 1200 block of U Street was also closed, with another big crowd outside Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Impromptu Shutdown

At one point the cops had to clear out a path to let a bus go through.

Shirtless Guy on the Corner

Then I biked to the White House, where a larger crowd had gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue, by Lafayette Square. A shirtless guy on the corner was attracting a lot of attention, and posing for photos with men and women.

Posing with an American Flag

Everyone was taking photos, and flags and posters made for perfect backdrops.

Local Politics

This group had a large DC flag. I got them to change their chant to “Da-vid Gro-sso,” after the guy who unseated Michael Brown for a seat on the DC Council.

Rainbow Hope

A rainbow flag and the old Obama “hope” poster.

Happy Moment

This girl was taking photos from atop a friend’s shoulders, at which point everyone crowded around to take her photo.

End of the Campaign

This guy had worked on the Obama campaign. He brought a leftover yard sign with him to the White House street party.

Wearing the Flag

A few folks wrapped themselves up in an American flag.

American Flag Shorts

People without an American flag handy could just walk around in their flag-print shorts.

American Headband

This guy opted to wear an American-flag headband.

Silver Flasks

There was a bit of drunkenness, as witnessed by these two guys drinking from metal flasks.

The Scruffy Crowd

I ran into a few familiar faces. It seemed like most of the crowd was students from George Washington University.

Year of the Horse

And someone decided to wear a horse mask to the event. I assume this was not Rafalca. Nor was it Jimmy Kruyne, the local “Horse-Mask Hurricane Jogger.”

Lafayette Park on Election Night

A lot of people were climbing the trees along Pennsylvania Avenue. There were a few American flags, and at least one DC flag.

DC and American Flags

A lot of people were eager to get on TV, even if it meant going crazy in the background.

More photos via the electionnight2012 tag.

Washingtonians Celebrating Obama’s Re-election

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