President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th American president on Tuesday.
Enormous crowds are expected for the inauguration comprising people from all over the world.
Here BBC News website readers from the UK explain why they are making the journey to Washington.
ANDREW BERNARD, 44, AND HIS SON DOMINIC, SURREY
Dominic is in Washington with his father Andrew
We arrived on Saturday. We could feel the atmosphere from the minute we stepped onto the plane at Heathrow - you could tell that other people were travelling for the same reason.
When we arrived at Washington Dulles the airport was packed.
I'm here with my 12-year-old son and two nephews. (My wife stayed at home with my two younger daughters, but we're going to update her when we get back with a Youtube tribute album).
We went to the pre-inauguration concert. Although the concert started at 2.30pm Eastern time, we arrived extra early at 8.20am.
People were there all day, laying out their rugs and getting ready for the concert. Before I went to the concert I saw the inauguration as particularly special from my perspective as a black person, but at the concert, the mixture of age and nationalities of the people showed that it was more than a question of race.
There was a sense of unity, and it reveals how many people are inspired by Barack Obama. Dominic said that the concert was 'outstanding' and 'awesome'.
He says he spoke to people he hadn't met before and that everyone was friendly.
Today is Monday and we've been taking photos of Capitol Hill and checking out where we're going to stand tomorrow.
We're going to watch the actual inauguration from the big screen but we're hoping to catch a glimpse of Barack Obama in the procession as he goes by.
There isn't too much of a crowd at the moment but we're looking for suitable areas now, while we've got the chance. Luckily our hotel is only a mile away.
JUDE CURRIE, 22, COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER, COUNTY DOWN
Jude Currie is working in DC for a year
I am going to the inauguration because I am lucky enough to be living here in DC for the year, working with a non-profit community project.
The atmosphere at the moment is one of elation. It's hard to describe really but every street, wall and t-shirt has got a picture of Obama.
It's been infectious living with everyone's excitement in the interim months since the election. There is a real spirit of community.
I will be getting up at 3am and walking down to the National Mall with some colleagues and friends.
I hear they've got 24 huge screens running the length of the mall so it will be great. Supermarkets are stocking up in preparation and novelty items are suddenly appearing everywhere. Everything has Obama stuck on it.
Afterwards we're going to head over to the community centre for a local event. They've got the Malcolm X Drummers performing so it should be great.
I had planned to come here before the election so it wasn't because of Obama, it's just worked out that way - it's very exciting.