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Even Chicago's Skyline Ready to Celebrate

The view from Chicago's Grant Park. (Bloomberg).

By Ed O'Keefe
CHICAGO -- Organizers opened the gates to the "invite only" sections of the campaign's Grant Park watch party at approximately 6:30 local time and dozens ran quickly to get as close to the action as possible. More than 500,000 people could fill the city's streets tonight to take part in the Obama campaign's festivities.

The crowds may be encouraged by the weather. The Windy City has enjoyed an unseasonably warm and moderately breezy day, with highs reaching the low 70s.

Several of the city's landmark skyscrapers have embraced the historic nature of the day, broadcasting patriotism into the city sky. The antennae atop the Sears Tower are illuminated in red, white and blue lights; the Blue Cross Blue Shield tower near Millennium Park used the building's lights to write "USA" along its south wall, which faces Grant Park; the Stone Container building's slanted roof has lights that read "VOTE 2008" and the red CNA building has drawn out an American flag with the lights on the building's East side, which also faces the park.

Among those in the crowd are Chicago residents Tamiko Deville and her son Julian. She has followed Obama's campaign for months and has donated to his effort a few times, she said. She signed up for tickets after receiving an email offering tickets.

"There's a buzz. People have been excited all day long," she said of the mood in Chicago.

Julian said he's followed the campaign in his high school history class.

"This is basically history," he said, looking around and shrugging his shoulders.

Once entering the park, hundreds ran to the concession stands, where pizza, soda and other fare is available.

The crowds are watching CNN's continuing coverage on large jumbo screens, participating in the network's coverage when the channel cut to its reporter on the scene.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 4, 2008; 9:20 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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