Cheers and jeers will be in abundance as Americans learn who their next president will be. Anxiety about the big decision is leading many people to forego a quiet Election Night at home in favor of parties and other gatherings to avoid facing the outcome alone.
After months of particularly contentious exchanges between President Bush and his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, some voters are scrambling to find plans for the big night.
"I kept hearing people saying it would be great if there were something going on -- and I heard it enough -- that I said, OK," said New Yorker Katrina Monzon. She's organizing a gathering at a local bar where several dozen of her friends will gather for the decision.
"Typically I'm home watching the results like everybody else," said Monzon. "It's never really felt like an event before."
But this time seems different, she said, "Nobody wants to deal with [this] on their own."
On the West Coast, active Democrat Jessica Brys Brownswell and her husband are gearing up to serve chili, chips and beer to a bipartisan crowd in Orange County, Calif.
"We're really excited for Election Day … I can't wait," she said. "Hopefully it will go our way, but if not, we'll be holding our beer."
Even those who plan to stay at home do not expect a quiet evening. "Oh yeah, we'll be receiving a lot of phone calls and making a lot of phone calls," said Patrick O'Keefe.
The orthopedic surgery resident plans to sit in front of his TV with his wife. He said he's rooting for Bush, and if the president wins a second term, he'll probably head into nearby Chicago to find a celebration.
And if Kerry wins? "We definitely won't be doing any celebrating," said O'Keefe.
Swing state voters have been inundated with stump speeches, leaving at least one Michigan resident looking to escape from all the politicking.
Helen Jensen, who runs a child-care center in Ann Arbor, said she usually sits by the TV as the election results pour in, but the last few weeks have been so "stressful" that she's going to vote and then tune out the coverage.
"My girlfriends and I are going to see 'Shall We Dance?' -- something light and fun," she said. "I just don't want to spend the whole night on pins and needles. I just want to go out and enjoy life."
This kind of stress has others preferring to avoid friends for the night when the country will be broken up into blue and red states.
"[I] turned down a party to stay home and watch results alone with my husband," Maryland resident Sharon Mayhew said in an e-mail.
"I just knew we wouldn't be good company with our excitement if Kerry wins and our abject depression and anger if Bush comes out ahead," explained Mayhew. "We also canceled business meetings for the next day assuming a late night waiting for results.
"I'm a native Washingtonian and politics is our recreation and gossip in this area," said Mayhew. "I have never seen this area more anxious or concerned about an election as this year."
For some, that anxiety harks back to the 2000 election when the outcome remained in limbo for more than a month.