In wintry Minnesota, there is a belief that every snowplow deserves a name.


Snow removal machine is essential to avoid winter minnesotaSo perhaps it’s not surprising that every year thousands of people vote on names for the giant machines that clean up the state’s roads, like Plowy McPlowface and Darth Blader.

The often-snowy state began naming its 800 plows in 2020 and is expected to announce the winners of its 2023-2024 Name Snowplow Contest as early as next week, adding eight selections to more than three dozen names previously submitted. Snow removal trucks have been gracing Minnesota highways since.

“We certainly know about snowfall in Minnesota, and anyone who lives here is aware of the challenges of those conditions and making the roads safe for people to travel during the winter,” said Anne Meyer, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “Knows the challenges of trying to keep up.” , which organizes the competition.

The mayor said the agency was aware that officials in Scotland have named snowplows for years and that a similar effort in Minnesota could draw attention to their winter work.

The response to the contest in its first year was overwhelming, with approximately 24,000 submissions and 122,000 votes cast. Participation has declined over the years but remains strong, with around 8,000 applications for the latest competition.

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In addition to Plowy McPloofface and Darth Blader, winners over the years have included Blizzard of Oz, Scoop Dog, and Han Snowlow. The top names often have connections to Minnesota. F. Salt Fitzgerald, St. Paul-born author F. Scott was a nod to Fitzgerald, while The Trucks was formerly known as Plo, in recognition of musician Prince, who for a time refused to be identified by the famous name.

The response in Minnesota has inspired states and cities across the country, from Alaska to California, to hold similar contests to name the snowplow. ohio And Massachusetts.

new Mexico launched its first Name-A-Snowplow contest this winter, drawing more than 1,500 submissions and 23,000 votes to name 12 of the state’s 400 plows. Winners included Sleightwood Mac, Mr. Snow It All and Billy the Skid, who acknowledged the New Mexico roots of gunslinger Billy the Kid.

“There’s a natural attraction (to snowfall),” said Christine Bustos-Mihelcic, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Transportation. “They’re big, huge trucks. They look great on the road, and they’re a visual statement at the core of DOT, which is helping people get to their destinations safely.

lincoln, nebraskaalso held its first snowplow-naming contest this year. More than 2,300 people voted to name eight city hallows, with Cleroptera taking the honors as the top pick.

“We hope this will help develop closer relationships with people and show them we’re human too,” said Erica Hill, spokeswoman for Lincoln’s Department of Transportation and Utilities. “We’re laughing with them about some of this.” great name.”

Plowy McPloughface is a favorite at many competitions, partly because it is reminiscent of a online vote rejected In 2016 a British polar research vessel was named Boaty McBoatface. Although that option received more than three times the votes of its nearest rival, officials opted to name the ship after naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Minnesota plans to continue its competition in the coming years and Meyer said each plow has its own name, which is displayed on the side of the vehicle.

“We have 800 snowplows across the state for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, so we have too many snowplows to name,” Meyer said.

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