Deafening cheers by 400 South Florida supporters at Trump watch party

Cheers rose to deafening levels as a crowd estimated at more than 400 jammed into Wings Plus to cheer Donald Trump’s first moments as the 45th president of the United States on Friday.

There was joy, relief and sometimes contempt as the scenes of a new president and party taking the reins of power unfolded on the TV screens. Wings Plus was the scene of what organizers claimed as the biggest watch party in the area.

Red, white and blue balloons festooned the restaurant’s exterior. Inside, pins bearing the new president’s likeness and T-shirts with pro-Trump slogans were the apparel of choice. The crowd was so thick waitresses had to carry trays above their heads to deliver beverages and food to tables.

Many in the crowd wore red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps just like Trump wore on the campaign trail. The ones for sale at the restaurant also bore the restaurant name under the slogan.

“Let’s do this Donald!” Lee Ballos, a Fort Lauderdale real estate agent, said as Trump joined Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to put his hand on the Holy Bible. “Take America back, baby.”

Inauguration protests and Trump priorities

“Yes, he will,” another patron responded.

Bob Enik, 73, of Jacksboro, Tenn., retired from sales, had heard about the gathering on a local radio show and wanted to mark the moment he couldn’t believe had arrived.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I met Trump years ago on a Palm Beach golf course.”

He made an impression, Enik said. And he agrees with his policies, too.

As Indiana Gov. Mike Pence became Vice President Mike Pence, Lana Markina, a Pompano Beach grandmother of two, originally from Jerusalem, declared, “Joe Biden, you’re fired! Joe Biden, you’re fired!”

South Florida Democrats pan Trump's inaugural speech

South Florida Democrats pan Trump’s inaugural speech

The inauguration may be over, but for the Democratic minority, resistance has just begun.

Three of the four Democratic congresspeople who represent Broward and southern Palm Beach counties were at the inauguration. And they say the scene there left them flabbergasted.

“My first impression was that…

The inauguration may be over, but for the Democratic minority, resistance has just begun.

Three of the four Democratic congresspeople who represent Broward and southern Palm Beach counties were at the inauguration. And they say the scene there left them flabbergasted.

“My first impression was that…

(Dan Sweeney)

And when it was President Trump’s turn, a full minute of cheers erupted. And then fell silent as his speech began. Lily Olinick, 58, of Coral Springs, said she felt the tears welling up.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” the real estate agent said. “Everything he believes is what makes this nation great.”

When the camera panned to a sitting President Obama, middle fingers were raised at the TV and others yelled, “Loser!”

The crowd erupted when Trump declared, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Dolly Trevino Rump, chairwoman of Trump’s Broward County campaign, organized the event and said she couldn’t think of many more moments in her life that left her more exhilarated.

“For eight years this country has been headed into the abyss,” she said. “He has saved us.”

As Trump’s speech drew to a close, many spoke the last words along with him: “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”

ageggis@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6624 or @AnneBoca

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-trump-watch-party-coral-springs-20170120-story.html

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