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Women's Marches In Montpelier And D.C. Attract Thousands

Hundreds of thousands participated in the Women's March on Washington or in satellite marches across the country Saturday. Throughout the day, VPR will be with Vermonters participating in Washington, D.C., at what is expected to be the largest of the marches, as well at a "sister" event in Montpelier. 

VPR's Rebecca Sananes is traveling with a Vermont group headed to the march and will provide updates throughout the day.

Follow reporter Rebecca Sananes for updates from the Women's March on Washington.

While final estimates are still unavailable, Montpelier officials expected as many as 7,000 Saturday, for the Women's March and Unity Rally, held in solidaritywith the Washington march. The event included remarks from Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and 2016 gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter, as well as a performance by slam poetry group, Muslim Girls Making Change.

Follow reporter Annie Russell for the latest from the Montpelier march.

Follow VPR on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for highlights from throughout the day.

Saturday Jan. 21 10:40 p.m. (final update) 

The estimate for the turnout at Montpelier's march now stands at 15,000. Read the full story from VPR's Annie Russell here.

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 4:10 p.m. 

Exit 8 is now open in both directions.

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 3:45 p.m.

According to the Vermont State Police, exit 7 is now open in both directions. Off ramps for exit 8 and 9 remain closed at this time.

Crowds at the Statehouse are beginning to disperse, though at their peak the lawn was jam packed with marchers:

Credit Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus
Times Argus
At the peak of the march, the Statehouse lawn was packed with marchers, many carrying signs and wearing pink hats.

Sen. Bernie Sanders shared a message of solidarity with women during his remarks to the packed Statehouse lawn.

Credit Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus
Times Argus
Sen. Bernie Sanders during his remarks at the Women's March on Montpelier Saturday.

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 3 p.m.

At this time, exit 7, 8 and 9 off ramps from I-89 are closed. On ramps at all three locations remain open.

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 2 p.m.

The Vermont State Police have announced they will be closing I-89 exit 9 (Middlesex) shortly, and exit 8 at Montpelier remains closed. "Traffic is backed up for miles both north and south bound in the travel and passing lanes in the area," police said. Montpelier City Police Chief Tony Facos says "travel within the city is highly restricted and city roads cannot support any more people or vehicles."

Credit Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR
Marchers packed the Statehouse lawn Saturday for the Women's March on Montpelier. While no official estimate has been released, city officials said they'd heard as many as 7,000 could in town for the event.
Credit Annie Russell / VPR
Marchers raise fists in support of immigrants' rights at the Women's March on Montpelier Saturday.
Credit Annie Russell / VPR
The slam poetry group known as Muslim Girls Making Change in front of the mic at Saturday's Women's March on Montpelier.

Among those in the crowd at the Statehouse are former gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman:

As well as Sen. Bernie Sanders:

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m.

Just after 1 p.m. Saturday, the Vermont State Police closed Montpelier exit 8 on I-89 in both directions due to the congestion caused by motorists trying to make their way to Saturday's march in Montpelier. Commuters are advised at this time to seek alternative routes.

Those who have made it to the march route are making their way to the Vermont Statehouse:

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

Vermont State Police say there are long backups north and south bound on I-89 near Montpelier due to today's events. They advise motorists to seek alternative routes or "use care and caution when approaching exit 8."

The Women's March on Montpelier is expected to begin around 1 p.m. at Montpelier High School.

In the nation's capital, the Women's March on Washington is well underway.

NPR: Women's March Floods Washington, Sparking Rallies Worldwide

VPR's Rebecca Sananes is with a group of Vermonters participating in the march and says spirits are high and "the energy is really positive" among those gathered.

Follow VPR's Rebecca Sananes for the latest from the Vermont group in D.C. for Saturday's Women's March on Washington

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 11 a.m.

After a 13-hour bus ride, the D.C.-bound group arrived in Washington and is on their way to the starting point for today's march:

Credit Rebecca Sananes / VPR
After a 13-hour bus ride, the D.C.-bound Vermonters arrive in Washington with pink hats (or "pussyhats," as marchers are calling them) and signs in hand, ready for the Women's March.

Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.

Having traveled over 530 miles through the night, eager passengers on the Washington-bound bus begin to ready themselves for the march as they pass through Maryland.

Traffic into the nation's capital is heavy this morning so the last 15 miles of their journey will likely take them at least another half hour.

Friday Jan. 20, 2017, 9:15 p.m.

The Washington-bound bus filled with Vermonters headed to the Women's March on Washington started its journey in Berlin, Vt., Friday night. Passengers brought signs and hats they've made for tomorrow's march:

Follow VPR's Rebecca Sananes for the latest from their journey.

This post will be updated throughout the day with highlights from both the Montpelier and Washington D.C. events.

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