After a year’s absence the most famous bear in Cadiz and a popular figure in the city’s Three Kings Parades is back. During the last Christmas festivities, a fault in the upper turbine of the ventilation system in one of the polar bear costumes turned its protagonist into the focus of countless memes all over Spain, because it looked as if the bear’s neck had broken and its head wobbled around uncontrollably as the person inside it walked.
Cádiz’s councillor for Festivals, Lola Cazalilla, said the bear would not be included in the Three Kings Parade this year, but local people thought differently and took matters into their own hands.
José Guerrero Roldán, known as Yuyu, a presenter on Canal Sur Radio, started a petition on Change.org for the ‘bear with the bad neck’ to return to this year’s parade, and it received thousands of signatures.
Then, on Monday 2 January, the bear reappeared, thanks to the ingenuity of residents of the Mentidero and Santa María districts who fitted the costume with a neck brace so the bear could take part in their local processions, much to the hilarity and delight of the public.
The Malaga-based company which makes the costumes played down the importance of the bear with the broken neck, saying it had 13 years of experience all over Spain, mistakes can happen and it actually wasn’t that big a deal.
For the people of Cadiz, however, it apparently was and the bear with the broken neck, complete with neck brace, will once again be proudly parading along with the rest on the evening of 5 January.