The City of Bangor is having some fun with its sidewalk plows, asking students to create fun names and artwork that will be displayed on the vehicles this winter.

What Inspired This Idea?

Let's face it, everyone thinks those little sidewalk plows are pretty cool. They're like little miniature snow plows that look like a cross between an industrial machine and a side-by-side. Now, the folks who work for the city have decided to let school kids have some fun by naming the sidewalk plows.

Bangor Public Works Director Aaron Huotari explained where the idea came from and how it was received by school administrators.

The City is changing sidewalk plow route priorities to focus on areas around schools, to benefit student pedestrians, so we thought this may be a fun way to engage the students on the subject.

He says administrators were enthused about the idea, so they decided to go ahead and challenge the students to get creative.

How Will the Contest Work?

Bangor's Public Engagement Specialist, Cody Vigue, created a video that features Huotari explaining how it works.

Name suggestions are being accepted from students and student groups until October 15th, through the city's web portal. Then the winners will be announced at a City Council Workshop on October 23rd. Once the winning names have been decided, students at the winners' schools will be challenged to create artwork around the winning name. The designs will be revealed to the public on November 17th through social media and on the city's website.

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I took a stab at it, but I'm sure the kids' names will be better than this.

City of Bangor via YouTube
City of Bangor via YouTube

What Happens to the Names/Artwork Once The Winners Are Announced?

Similar to my mock-up design, the winning names and artwork will be printed on vinyl, which will then be installed on the sidewalk plows, where they will be displayed all season. Students will get weekly status updates on their machines throughout the winter.

This is open to Bangor schools only, as they name the sidewalk plows in their community. But it could serve as inspiration for other communities to do something similar and make winter in Maine a little more fun.

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