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Checking in with Raul Rodriguez, Float Designer

Published on: December 31, 2012

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Though Raul Rodriguez has won the most float designs ever in the Tournament of Roses Parade history, each year around this time you’ll see him smiling like a kid, full of anticipation for the the unveiling of the eye-popping floats appearing in the big parade. His job is mostly done months before the Rose Parade marches down Colorado Boulevard, but there’s joy and satisfaction in seeing his imaginings come to life.  He has always loved nature and finds inspiration in the beauty of nature’s own displays, America’s rich cultural heritage and conveying the magic he sees in art forms the public can appreciate.

Rodriguez knew as teenager that he was destined to create. At the age 15 the East L.A. kid entered and won a high school art contest to design the float for the City of Whittier. The rest is history–almost.  His persistence (rode 3 buses to get to art school classes,) and work experience at Disney and other places helped him to eventually become his own boss. He is recognized not only for the blue macaw bird he takes with him on public appearances (including rides on floats,) but for his ability to seemingly inject the breath of life into inanimate objects. He’s designed the colorful Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, painted a prominent portrait of the Pope, designed Disneyland parades and events, and takes it on home each year with an incredible Christmas display at his Hancock Park home in Los Angeles. For those who watch the Rose Parade on TV or live, Rodriguez has designed nearly a quarter of the floats in 2013–and from what we can tell, they are spectacular, as usual.

Rodriguez was contracted to design 10 floats for the 2013 Rose Parade:

City Of Torrance /ACE Clearwater – Follow Your Dreams
Dole Package Foods -Dreaming Of Paradise
Kaiser Permanente – Oh, The Healthy Things You Can Do
Macy’s – Presenting the Royal Court
Miracle Grow – Everyone Grows
Beverly Hills Pet Care Foundation – Follow The Stars… Adopt A Pet!
China Airlines – Cycling Through Paradise
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. – Canines With Courage
Ministry of Tourism Indonesia – Wonderful Indonesia
Aids Healthcare Foundation – The Global Face of Aids (not shown in thumbnails images)

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