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Glendale renames controversial elephant-themed Rose Parade float

October 18, 2011 |  8:59 am

Glendale renames elephant Rose Parade float
The Tournament of Roses has approved Glendale's new name for its Rose Parade float, which was changed recently in an attempt to appease critics of the controversial elephant design.

Come January, Glendale's float featuring a circus elephant towing a chariot will roll through Pasadena with the name Just Imagine the Music, Fun and Freedom, which replaced its original tag, Stepping Out in Style.

For months, Glendale officials took the heat for the float design and name, which animal activists said glamorized the abuse of circus elephants, the Glendale News-Press reported.

After a summer protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and dozens of angry emails from the public, the City Council agreed to solicit new names to tamp tensions.

City leaders said it was too late to change the float design since construction was almost complete by the time it came up for council approval. The design had already been approved by a lower-level committee and a community group.

The city received about 25 suggestions. Names such as Step Away From Animal Abuse and Wishing for My Natural Life didn't make the cut.

Rick Phegley, chairman of the parade's Float Entries Committee, said float sponsors often change their names before the parade, noting that of the 43 floats in this year's parade, about one-quarter have had tweaks.

PETA spokesman David Perle has said the animal rights group is still unhappy with the float and name choice.


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-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Photo: The city of Glendale's float featuring a circus elephant towing a chariot  was renamed in order to tamp tensions. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News