Washington in Bloom cochair Sally Bocklage said she’s “beyond excited” for the America in Bloom judges to visit next week.

“All systems are a go,” Bocklage said, noting that final touches are being made for the judges visit.

Judges will be in Washington Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17.

“We’re just thrilled to show our city to these national judges,” Bocklage said. “Washington is a beautiful place to live, work and play and we have a lot to show those ladies.”

Judges are Evelyn Alemanni and Barbara Vincentsen.

Bocklage said she is excited to see Alemanni again and show her the progress from last year.

“She was so helpful to us last year. She provided us with a wealth of information in such a professional and kind way,” she said.

The ladies will do extensive touring, conduct interviews with municipal representatives, and meet with community volunteers.

They will evaluate six criteria including overall impression, environmental efforts, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscapes, and floral displays. Criteria are examined across four sectors: commercial, municipal, residential, and community involvement.

Judges will visit Krog Park, the water tower planting, city recycling center, industrial park, condos on Front Street, Peace Lutheran community garden, Patients First landscaping, Mercy Hospital Washington’s healing garden, the parks department and several other locations.

Bocklage said the library will be a “gem” during the tour.

“They’re going to admire it tremendously,” she said. “Things such as that will really have an impact on their overall impression.”

A celebration dinner will be held Tuesday evening at Jesuit Hall. Tickets are available at the parks office for $15.

During the dinner, the city symbols will be announced.

Voting for the symbols ends Monday, July 16, at noon.

Area residents are asked to vote for a symbol from each of three categories, bird, tree and flower.

Choices for trees include dogwood, river birch, redbud, red maple and bald cypress.

Bird candidates are the cardinal, bluebird, robin, gold finch and hummingbird.

Flower choices include the knockout rose, daylily, black-eyed Susan, red hibiscus and purple cone flower.

Choices can be emailed to washingtoninbloom@yhti.net.

Choices also can be submitted online by visiting the Washington Parks Department website, ci.washington.mo.us, and clicking the “America & Washington in Bloom” link on the left side of the page.

People of all ages are encouraged to cast a vote.