Over the weekend we were discussing the 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade during Princess Lilly Fallah Lawrence’s dinner at Cache in Santa Monica, where we met Raul Rodriguez, the Big Kahuna of Float Design.
Raised in East Los Angeles and having studied at the Art Center School of Design, Raul’s created his majestic floats since age 14, and is acknowledged as the best of the best, winning more awards than any other float designer. The Hispanic Times headlines that “Raul Makes Magic for Millions.” His floats have graced Six Flags, Las Vegas gaming establishments and the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Considered Numero Uno in Sin City, Raul assesses that, all told, he’s created more than 800 floats.
For the 2011 Roses Parade with its theme, “Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories,” Raul is creating 16 floats. The Reagan Library’s anniversary, Dole Pineapple, Kaiser Pemanente, Natural Balance Pet Food, for which he designed the longest float in history in 2010, the City of Torrance, China Airlines, plus others. Raul’s intricate floats with their iconic images and elegant floral tableaux are built in Raul’s Irwindale and Azusa studios. Admittedly, Raul’s often inspired by the vibrant colors of his beloved toucans, macaws and parrots in his aviary.