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Governor's Award goes to Glendale Rose Parade float

"Let's Be Neighbors," featuring Meatball, is recognized for its depiction of California life.

January 01, 2014|By Sal Polcino
  • The Glendale float "Let's be neighbors" featuring Meatball the bear, won the Governor's Award for best depiction of life in California at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Wednesday, January 1, 2014.
The Glendale float "Let's be neighbors"… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

The pageantry of the Tournament of Roses Parade took over the streets of Pasadena for the 125th time Wednesday morning with a cast of thousands. Marching bands from as far as Japan, equestrian groups featuring Appaloosa, Andalusian and Clydesdale horses, KC & the Sunshine Band, Natalie Cole and this year's winner of NBC's “The Voice,” Tessanne Chin all joined the festivities.


Of course, what most of the nearly 800,000 fans came out to see were the floats with their larger-than-life characters and vividly colored roses.

PHOTOS: The 125th annual Tournament of Roses parade
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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story misspelled the word Clydesdale.

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Glendale's 2014 entry, “Let's Be Neighbors,” featured local flora and fauna. While the song “Bear Neccessities” played through the loudspeakers, a deer, a coyote, a raccoon and other California wildlife wagged their tails and Glendale's most famous animal marauder, Meatball the Bear, popped out of a giant trashcan.

“Let's be Neighbors” won the prestigious Governor's Award for best depiction of life in California. Patty Bettancourt, in charge of logistics for the float has been participating in the parade for four years.

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“We are thrilled,” said Bettancourt.

Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver sat on a park bench mounted on the float, which was Glendale's 100th entry in the Rose Parade.

Glendale-based company Public Storage's entry was a crowd and judge's favorite as well. Its float, “Adventures in Space,” featured a large spaceship that held three smaller vehicles which would pop out and wheel through the crowd before returning to the “mothership.” “Adventures in Space” won the Grand Marshal's Award for excellence in creative concept and design.

The Fantasy Award for most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination went to Burbank for its innovative entry “Lights! Camera! Action!” An evil villain rode a train waving a deed and chasing a young maiden while a hero on horseback raced to save her. The float had a mining car filled with black roses to simulate coal.

Jon Reeves, head of construction for the Burbank float, has worked with the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. for 12 years.

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