As the parade of people honking car horns, many with Biden/Harris 2020 flags, slowly drove past the Colorado state Capitol to whoops and cheers Saturday morning, Ali Darhumb stood near its west steps and wept.
“My daughter Etti is a little Black girl,” Darhumb said, next to her double-wide stroller. “And this morning, she said, ‘Now we have a brown-skinned girl,’” referencing Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. “‘And it’s my turn next.’”
Darhumb and her wife, Kinya, have raised their children Etti and Arlo to be proud of their “skin and their family,” Darhumb said. And she said that’s been difficult under the Trump presidency.
“It feels like we’ve been flying down a highway of hate. And it feels like today we took the exit,” Darhumb said. “Where we go next is incredibly important. But today we’re celebrating.”
The Darhumb family was among hundreds of Joe Biden supporters who flooded the state Capitol steps Saturday after news organizations called the presidential race for Biden and Harris. Many who spoke with CPR News said they felt a sense of hope, joy and relief.
More on the 2020 election in Colorado
Tracy Jones of Denver was running an errand in Littleton when she heard the news.
“I started crying immediately,” Jones said. “It just gives me hope for a better future for this country.”
A few dozen supporters of President Trump arrived at the Capitol around noon, and state patrol officers formed a line between the two groups.
“Trump fans, we don’t hate these people,” said one woman who refused to give her name, pointing to the crowd of people celebrating. “We want unity too. But we want a fair election.”
Some Trump supporters, and the White House itself, have complained, without any evidence, that widespread fraud had tilted the election in Biden’s favor. Joe Andres of Lakewood, a Trump voter, said he’d like to see an “investigation” into the matter and said Trump has been good for the country.
“The fact that he kept us out of foreign wars … that was great. What he’s done for the pro-life movement has been huge and his judicial appointments have been fantastic,” Andres said.
A few dozen other Trump supporters caravanned from a sporting goods store in the southern suburbs to a pro-Trump rally in downtown Colorado Springs, where the rally grew to a few hundred supporters. They heard speeches from conservative figures like commentator Michelle Malkin.
Robert Abeyta of Colorado Springs was among the attendees. "I'm here for freedom and liberty," he said, "and to support Donald Trump."
Speakers and people in the crowd said they don’t believe Trump lost the election, with some urging a re-do of the election in key states that would require people to vote in person.
Very few people in the crowd wore masks, and they expressed that they are not ready to move on and come together with people who disagree with them politically.
Denver's Cheesman Park had a much more relaxed vibe Saturday afternoon, where hundreds of Biden supporters gathered to drink beer, play yard games and hold yoga poses.
Damien Vaden of Denver said it was "good to see American happy," and added that the Trump era "was like the Twilight Zone and I'm glad it's over."
But, said the former marine, he'd like to America make significant changes to policing practices and acknowledge the role Black people played in the country's success.
"If we can build on those simple points, we will be the amazing country we were supposed to be," he said.
Some Biden supporters said they hope the president-elect will bridge the country’s partisan divide, as he’s promised he will throughout the campaign. Meg Fitzgerald lives in Capitol Hill but works in conservative-leaning Weld County. She said that’s given her the opportunity to have constructive conversations with people who hold opposing views — and she’s hopeful Biden will push more people to do the same thing.
“Having Joe in office is probably not a silver bullet,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m not some blind-eyed optimist. But I think that at least now, more than ever, there’s hope for that.”
More photos from Saturday's rallies:
CPR’s Hart Van Denburg contributed reporting from Colorado Springs and Claire Cleveland from Denver.