Colorado’s snowplows do some pretty serious work, making roadways like I-70 safer to travel after winter storms. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun and cool and deserving of interesting nicknames.
To help change that, Governor Jared Polis announced a contest on Wednesday morning to name some of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) snowplows. Elementary school students are encouraged to submit names via the “Name that Plow” portal before March 26. Submissions can be no longer than 15 characters, should not include any foul language, and should elevate the “iconic” Colorado brand, according to Polis.
As part of the announcement, Polis unveiled the first plow moniker: “Unsinkable Molly,” a nod to Coloradan Molly Brown, who was one of the survivors of the Titanic.
The effort to give snow-removal machines funny labels isn’t necessarily a new idea. Scotland has held an annual contest to name its 213 snowplows since 2006. Some of the best ones from this past year include “Snowkemon Go” and “For Your Ice Only.”
Minnesota also held its first-ever contest to name its giant powder-pushing vehicles this year. More than 122,000 votes were cast during the competition, and eight snowplows were ultimately given playful new designations, such as “Plowy McPlowFace,” “Snowbi Wan Kenobi,” and “F. Salt Fitzgerald.”
NEW: @GovofCO Polis will unveil a “Name That Plow” contest at 11:15am, proving Colorado is basically Minnesota, only less polite and less original.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) March 3, 2021
According to the Minnesota Reformer, one of the leading entries in the the North Star State’s contest was supposedly “Abolish ICE.” The news site determined this after obtaining some 23,000 entries via a public-records request. Of that sampling, the call to get rid of the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement department received the second most votes.
But Minnesota’s Department of Transportation (MnDOT) didn’t allow the name to be included in a list of 50 finalists. “It was meant to be a fun and lighthearted contest,” a spokesman for MnDOT told the New York Times. “There’s certainly a time and a place for political expression. A snowplow-naming contest might not be the appropriate place for that.”
To help out young Coloradans who might be thinking about participating in CDOT’s contest, the 5280 staff came up with some lighthearted Centennial State–related suggestions:
- Mt. Plowbert
- Casa Plownita
- The Orange Slush
- Plowder Hound
- The Salty Skier
- The Brown Plowace
- El Chapultaplow
- Snowbahn Miller
- John Ploway
The Colorado borders couldn’t confine our creativity, though. Here are some other more general names to consider:
- Plower Power
- Mr. Ice Guy
- The Old Man and the Sea Salt
- Of Ice and Men
- Call Me Icemael
- E Plowbus Unum
- The Salt in our Stars
- Harry Plowder
- Steve The Snow Plow
Of course, we imagine the Centennial State’s elementary schoolers will have no shortage of their own original ideas. But if the young ones wanted to make a nod to Denver’s favorite city magazine, we hear that 52-skatey is available.