29 Dec, 2022 @ 16:30
1 min read

Petition calls for ‘broke-neck bear’ to return to Spain’s Cadiz for Kings’ Day parade

The 'broke-neck bear'
The 'broke-neck bear' at the Cadiz Kings' Day parade in 2022.

IT WAS an image that not only prompted the laughter of the television commentators narrating the 2022 Kings’ Day parade in Cadiz, but also became an instant meme on social media: the ‘broke-neck bear’. 

The wardrobe malfunction suffered by the unfortunate person wearing one of the polar bear costumes at the event has lived on in the collective memory. Unlike its upright companions, this unfortunate animal looked as if its neck had broken, and its head lolled around helplessly as it made its way along the route. 

‘Don’t look up’, read one of the memes, coinciding with the Leonardo Di Caprio movie that was released around the same time on Netflix. ‘We’ve all been the bear at the Cadiz parade at one time or another,’ read another. 

Perhaps the most appropriate for the moment, however, given the coronavirus pandemic, was the image with ‘2019’ on the upright bear, and ‘2020, 2021, 2022’ on the afflicted animal. 

Such is the affection for the ‘oso chungo’, or twisted bear, that a petition has been started for it to return this year

So far, the online initiative has attracted more than 5,300 signatures, with organisers claiming that the ‘adorable little animal’ ‘deserves its place at the Kings’ Day parade on January 5 2023.

The local council, however, is keen to avoid another bear-related incident, and has for now ruled out the return of the infamous character. 

‘We thought it was unfair to give so much importance and place so much attention on what was little more than an anecdote,’ said the Culture and Fiestas councillor, Lola Cazalilla, during a press conference to present the city’s Christmas activities. 

Eagle-eyed spectators will still, no doubt, be looking out for another wardrobe malfunction at this year’s parade.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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