Los Feliz resident Leah Kamm brought her 5-year-old granddaughter to see the float because she said it’s “relevant” and sends the right message.
The float, with the theme “Let’s Be Neighbors,” featured Meatball, a coyote, deer, raccoon and squirrel all frolicking together. It won the Governor’s Award in the Tournament of Roses Parade for best depiction of life in California.
Kamm was one of several residents who knew of the Glendale bear’s legacy by keeping up with him via news reports that began in 2012 when the bear was discovered eating frozen Costco meatballs from a garage refrigerator.
“[We’ve] got to learn to live with our neighbors, the wildlife,” she said. “Many times, we think we have rights before they do. They really were here before us and they have as much right to be our neighbors.”
Las Vegas couple Demetrio and Lisa Simon stopped to see Glendale’s float, although they had never heard about Meatball or that he was the inspiration behind the float’s design.
“It’s beautiful,” Demetrio Simon said. “It was made perfect.”