WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place March 20 through April 16, but long before peak viewing, the time to start planning came Thursday for anyone who wants to be part of Petal Porches.

The festival opened registration for program, which invites people across the DMV to decorate their porches, yards, and windows in pink and blossoms to celebrate the yearly event. The festival said the first 300 people to sign up for Petal Porches would receive a National Cherry Blossom Festival yard sign for free.

Petal Porches competition categories include:

Best Blossom Block

Awarded to the best decorated block of porches. Festival staff will judge based on a block’s participation and overall theme. The winner will receive a neighborhood party on Sunday, March 26.

Prime Petal Porches

Awarded to the best decorated porch. Festival staff will select the top three porches per D.C. ward, Maryland, and Virginia, and then guest judges will tour and select one winner in each area. Winners will receive a custom watercolor rendering of their Petal Porches submission photo to remember their winning design for years to come.

The People’s Petal Porch

Awarded to the most popular porch. The eight D.C. ward porches, chosen from Prime Petal Porches, will compete for the most votes in a competition-style bracket on the Festival Instagram account (@CherryBlossFest). Virginia and Maryland will also go head-to-head in a daily bonus round. Winners from each area get special prizes.  

People who participate in Petal Porches can share images and videos of their work on social media using #PetalPorches and #SpringItOn.

Anyone who wants to find decorated locations to visit can go to the festival’s website to see the locations on a map.