People gather from across the country on eve of new Washington D.C. museum

WASHINGTON D.C. – The official opening is still a day away, but the celebration of the National Museum of African American History and Culture has already begun.

People from across the country have assembled in our nation's capital for a festival to commemorate history.

"It's going to be epic," said Cassandra Owens of Arlington, Virginia. "That's the only way to describe it. It's going to be pretty epic."

Those braving the heat on the National Mall Friday are hoping to score tickets to see inside the museum on Saturday.

That's when President Barack Obama will officially open the structure.

We've already run into more than a dozen people from the Houston area -- including a group from Spring and the south side of the city.

"I was down here a few months ago and I knew this was coming," said Van Tennell of Houston. "So I decided to come back again just to enjoy this historical moment."

And although its focus is on African-American history and culture -- those here to celebrate said the museum was built for all Americans to enjoy and learn.

"They can actually understand where we came from," said Cassandra Owens. "Maybe have an idea of our perspective, the paths that were laid for us, and what we're having to go through right now."

The Houston area is well represented inside the museum. Carl Lewis's gold medals are on display and ballerina Lauren Anderson, who became one of the first African-Americans to be named the principal ballerina of a major dance company, also has a display.

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