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Edmonton Residents Delighted by City’s Whimsical Plow Names, including ‘Peter Parka’ and ‘Plowy McPlowface’

The Big Leplowski could be coming to an Edmonton street the next time a blizzard hits the city.

The Big Leplowski is just one of 15 city plows that had punny names bestowed on them last year as part of Edmonton’s ‘Name a Plow’ contest. The contest encouraged residents to come up with humorous names for the city’s snow plows.

Despite the top 15 names being announced last January, a number of city residents took to the website Reddit this winter to express their surprise and delight that Edmonton has given memorable monikers to a fleet of its plows.

“It’s my first winter living in Edmonton,” the original poster said on the city’s subreddit page. “It made me happy to discover that some of the snow plows have names.”

The poster included a screenshot of a live snow and ice control map of the city, showing snow plows nicknamed Peter Parka, Plowy McPlowface, Blizzard Wizard, and Fast and Flurrious out clearing the streets. The post has been upvoted 2,000 times.

“I’ve lived here over 10 years and am just finding this out. Hilarious. Thanks for making me laugh tonight,” one user replied.

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“This is my 23rd winter in Edmonton, and I also just found this out,” another user wrote.

The idea to name plows in the city fleet was dreamed up in 2022. But rather than make the names up themselves, the city decided to leave the task up to the public by launching a naming contest.

The winners were announced in January of 2023 after receiving 2,157 responses from residents who took on the creative challenge.

“We appreciate the incredible enthusiasm for this contest, and are very excited to display the winning names on plows throughout the city,” Mark Beare, Edmonton’s director of infrastructure operations said in a press release at the time. “Thank you to everyone who submitted such creative and unique ideas.”

Mr. Beare said the original plan was to name only five plows, but the overwhelming response convinced the city to name an additional 10 trucks.

To facilitate public participation, a portal was created for people to submit names and then upvote them, similar to the method used on Reddit. The city compiled the 30 most popular submissions and allowed the snow and ice crew to choose the top 15.

Once chosen, the names were displayed on the doors of the trucks saying: ‘Hello my name is’ followed by the nickname.
“Edmonton’s a winter city, it can get pretty dark and cold,” Mr. Beare told Yahoo News. “This was a way to inject a little fun.”
The final 15 names chosen were:

  • Amarsleet Snowhi (A play on the name of Mayor Amarjeet Sohi)
  • Blizzard of Oz (From the classic 1939 film starring Judy Garland)
  • Blizzard Wizard (A term from video game Rocket League)
  • Buzz Iceclear (Inspired by the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear)
  • Connor McBlade-It (After Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid)
  • Ctrl+Salt+Delete (For all of the tech-lovers)
  • Darth Blader (After the famous Star Wars villain)
  • Fast and Flurrious (Inspired by the Fast and the Furious movie franchise)
  • Mr. Plow (Inspired by the name of Homer Simpson’s short-lived snow plow business)
  • Peter Parka (Inspired by Spider-Man’s real identity)
  • Plowasaurus Rex (A play on the popular dinosaur)
  • Plowy McPlowface (A play on Boaty McBoatface)
  • Qanniq (“Snowfall” in the Inuktitut dialect)
  • Snow-Be-Gone Kenobi (From everyone’s favourite Jedi master)
  • The Big Leplowski (Inspired by 1998 film The Big Lebowski)

Calgary and Chatham Lead the Way

Edmonton is not the only Alberta city to get in on the fun. Calgary launched a similar contest in 2021, asking students at local schools to come up with names for its 78 plows. The city received nearly 1,700 submissions.

By the following winter, plows bearing the names Gritty Gritty Bang Bang, Snowy McSnow Face, and Sled Zepplin had hit city streets.

“We had many wonderful submissions, and they varied in so many ways,” the city said in a press release. “We saw names of favorite relatives or pets, celebrities, characters and sayings from favourite TV shows and movies such as Pokémon, Harry Potter or Star Wars. The most popular submissions were Plowy McPlowface, Mr. Plow and Frosty the Snowplow.”
Chatham-Kent, in southwestern Ontario, also launched a contest in 2021.
The municipality originally planned to name six of its snow plows but received so many submissions, the town decided to expand naming to 13 vehicles. It has since become a yearly tradition.

Some of the names from 2021 were Gordie Plow, Pillsbury Plowboy, and Sleetwood Mac while 2022 saw Betty Whiteout and Edward Blizzardhands added to the fleet. The 2023 contest brought names like Skip the Ditches, Austin Plowers, and Taylor Drift to the mix.

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