Grand opening festivities begin for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

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WASHINGTON, DC — The festival surrounding the grand opening weekend of the National Museum of African American History and Culture began Friday.

The “Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration” festival runs until Sunday evening and features several stages and tents with music, food, and panel discussions. Some big name artists will be performing on the Freedom Stage, including The Roots and Public Enemy.

A full list of events can be found here.

“I wanted to come be a part of history, the opening of the museum and we’ve also heard some Freedom Sounds in the tent, which was very good,” said Idella Washington. She came up from Harvey, LA to take see the opening of the museum and even managed to get one of the much sought after tickets to get into the museum this weekend when it opens.

But many, like Susan Devonshire from Trenton, NJ, don’t have tickets for opening weekend and just came down because they wanted to be a part of the historic occasion.

“I played hooky from work for this. I cancelled my overtime. But I’m here and I love it,” said Devonshire. “We provided a very important part of American history, we are American history. So I wanted to be here. We’re making history. I love it.”

Throughout the weekend, there will be several road closures and parking restrictions. A full list can be found on the Metropolitan Police Department’s website.

The opening ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and will include President Obama. The museum will officially open at 1 p.m.

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