Photos of Barack Obama’s Election Victory Celebration in Grant Park of Chicago, 2008

Barack Obama winning celebration in Chicago's Grant Park: 14

The energy! Hundreds of thousands of happy people. It is just so amazing to see so many people coming together for our country. Barack Obama won the 2008 election and will be the next President of the United States! Happiness is abounding everywhere. Chicago has been home to many celebrations.

Chicago has seen happy people celebrate sports championships.

Chicago has seen happy people enjoy mega-large music concerts.

Chicago has seen one million happy people enjoy the July 3rd fireworks every year.

The happiness on November 4, 2008 from Barack Obama winning the Presidential election is different from any world championships, music concerts, and fireworks.

It is a happiness that is significant. Is is a happiness about that things WILL change. Lives WILL be impacted. And the people of Chicago in Grant Park know that.

Selected photos I took this night of the celebration

(I also shot video that night. 4-minute compilation video available).

Photographers were everywhere tonight. They reach up high, trying to get a good shot. I had an even higher reach with my tripod. 🙂 With my camera attached to the top of the tripod, I raised the camera up, holding the feet of the tripod. This gave me an extra five feet above everyone else. (Flickr)

Oceans of people watching the giant video screens. (Flickr)

The giant video screen says, “Barack Obama elected president in projection” (Flickr)

Wooo! These people are EXCITED! They are front-line viewers for one of the video screens. Obama is giving his acceptance speech here. (Flickr)

Someone else was taking a picture of this girl on her dad’s shoulders. But I sneaked in the shot. I like how she’s looking over at me taking the photo. Her handwritten sign says “OBAMA OBAMA”.

It’s also nice how the “USA” is visible on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building.

My brother shared this insight, “I was surprised to see as many kids as I did for the rally. It was great seeing parents instill that civic pride into their children’s lives. That’s one of the things that makes Barack Obama great.” (Flickr)

Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech. Hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans watch several video screens. I love the American flag on the CNA building, and the beacon of light coming out the Metropolitan Tower. (Flickr)

I enjoy the dramatic feel of this photo with light shooting off into the sky. This photo was featured on the Chicagoist site.

The super white blob on the left is a video screen showing the tv election coverage.

This photo was captured with a long exposure on my tripod. It was well worth bringing my tripod. Chicago just completely rocks. They did an INCREDIBLE job putting up all those jumbotrons. And then the wonderful architecture in the background with the flag, and the beacon of light, bringing hope to the future.

I am so proud that our city was being watched by the world this night. (Flickr)


A large painting of Barack Obama by Alejandro J. Trevino (Alex), painted while studying at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. (Flickr)

I like the action and excitement in this photo. (Flickr)

The camera guy filing the banner is smiling. Everyone I encountered downtown was happy and filled with joy. (Flickr)

Barack Obama winning celebration in Chicago's Grant Park: 14

Barack Obama won the election, and the people in Grant Park didn’t want to go home. There was this family standing on a median on Michigan Avenue that was just overly delighted to have all these people taking their pictures. They stood there for at least ten minutes while people came up and snapped their shots. Here’s mine. (Flickr)

After Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, the people in Grant Park didn’t want to leave. We celebrated on the streets of Chicago. Here we are on Michigan Avenue in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This is an HDR shot from several exposures. I like how it gives the feel of people walking by. It was really nice how someone just happened to be walking by with a huge American flag as I was composing this shot.

My brother commented on this photo, “And you got the fella wearing the “YES WE CAN” shirt as well. Excellent representation of the evening’s excitement. Michigan Ave was packed all the way back to Randolph Ave. Chicago loves Obama. American loves Obama. The world loves Obama. When was the last time we could say that about a President-elect. Obama is a unique character in our country’s history.”

And my friend Cathie Beth commented, “Very deeply emotional. With the ‘ghost like’ people in there it represents everyone… a bit of them at least. The American Flag was a great capture as was the t-shirt stating yes we can. It is truly of the moment, but also of the history and a bit since 1776 when independence was granted. It really reminds me with the ‘ghost like’ people there of everyone who’s come and gone before us, who is here today, and fragments of who’ll be here tomorrow to what is so important today. Very moving and very wonderful.” (Flickr)

Video available

That night I also recorded video in between my photographing. I took 15 short clips and compiled them into one four-minute video.

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15 years ago

What a night! Thanks for posting your pictures, they do a good job of showing the excitement!

15 years ago

simply stunning matty!

15 years ago

looks like everyone was enjoying this!

Steve Tanner
15 years ago

Those are some great CNA shots, Matt 🙂

15 years ago

My entire life has been spent experiencing the terrible political effects of Richard Nixon’s Watergate. Cynicism reigned supreme which peaked under Bush 43’s administration which thrived on lies, fear and hate. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton charged their political base, but were unsuccessful at uniting our nation. They were polarizing figures. America desperately needed a presidential candidate to energize and unite our nation. No one could meet that challenge… until now. Barack Obama is changing the civic attitude of our nation and I witnessed it firsthand last night. The crowd was a true slice of Chicago. I saw rich, poor, middle class, college students, grade schoolers proudly holding their parents’ hands, black, white, asian, and hispanic. It was impossible to determine a demographic majority. I witnessed no discouragement or any form of content for any political figure. The atmosphere was charged with celebration and pride not for a sports team or a fireworks display, but for the future leader of this nation. It was a cherished moment of American history. The inspiration of Obama can be seen beyond our country’s borders. I’ve never seen so many nations share in our country’s excitement from news reports of people dancing in the streets to message board posts from French women stating that they cried in joy at the news of Obama’s election. Today, our world is filled with some much needed hope.

15 years ago

Wonderful! I wish I could have been there. It looks so exciting and emotional. I feel like today is New Year’s Day!

hannah friedman
15 years ago

My humble musical letter to president Obama: Best, Hannah

14 years ago

This indeed is quite a enjoyable feast when America was once again rejoicing its victory of democracy.

chris Novak
chris Novak
13 years ago

I put this video together that night a few years back now. but always wanted to connect with the artist in my video and send him this link…

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