Pictures of Raul Rodriguez with his Tournament of Roses floats
and designs. The 2010 Theme of the 121st parade is “A Cut Above the Rest”. The
parade begins at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
When the first float rolls into camera view and millions cheer
in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Parade, there’s a good chance you’re looking
at the magic of the Rose Parade’s most esteemed and recognized conceptual
designer, Raul Rodriguez. He often rides on one of the floats, appearing
somewhat flamboyant with his regal blue hyacinth macaw on his shoulder and
wearing long, ornate robes, or the costume of a Conquistador. Raul and his
bird, Sebastian, will be riding the Mexico float in the upcoming parade, held
each year on New Year’s Day, January 1.
What you are seeing is the fanfare. This native Angelino
couldn’t be more down to earth, and more in tune with the heart and soul of his
community. SEE VIDEO OF
Ever since he was a youngster growing up in Los Angeles, Raul
Rodriguez has had a unique talent for design. His first award-winning concept at
the age of 15 became the selection for a float in the parade. Colorful,
whimsical, and work-able, he has created countless award-winning floats in the
Rose Parade and often has a dozen or so transformed from paper to life in a
single year’s parade. In fact, Rodriguez has won more awards than any other
designer in the history of the Tournament of Roses parade event.
What makes this third generation native of Los Angeles such a
success? His attitude of “giving back,” certainly stands out for those who know
him. Rodriguez expresses it in these terms: “To entertain by re-creating diverse
dramatic themes drawn from nature and the rich cornucopia of the world’s
cultures; to replay concepts from the whimsical to the exotic in
larger-than-life presentations that allow me to relate the wonders of life in a
bold, unique art form.”
As an artist and conceptual designer of international acclaim,
he has been a designer for the opening stage set of the World’s Fair in New
Orleans; consultant to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles; conceptual designer
for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary parade, “Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams”, and
most recently, Six Flags “Glow in the Park” Parades. His creative concepts and
designs have also illuminated establishments throughout the Orient, and closer
to home in Las Vegas, Reno and Laughlin.
Awards and recognition come from the Hispanic community, his
college alma matter - California State University at Long Beach- and other such
institutions and organizations. An example of a person who turned his passion
into a career, Rogriguez has touched and inspired people throughout the world.
Well spoken, thoughtful and
upbeat in his goal to make the world better, this gentle soul has
traveled the globe doing just that. From humble beginnings, growing
up in Los Angeles County, the budding talent got his first break in
high school at the age of 14 1/2 years. He submitted a float design
for his city's submission into the Rose Parade and his was selected.
It launched a life-long career.
After designing more than 500 floats, Raul Rodriguez continues to see the
Tournament of Roses as a celebration of life, carrying the hope and
optimism that he began with. I hope the good Lord allows me to
do this for many years to come, Rodriguez says with a smile.
Even if you hadn't noticed Raul Rodriguez riding on a float with a big, blue
hyacinth bird on his shoulder, you've
surely admired his designs.
The internationally recognized designer has created more than
floats for the Rose Parade and more awards than any other
designer in the parade's 121-year history. He has
lived in Hancock Park for more than 20 years.
In high school
he launched his career by
winning a contest to design a float for the city of Whittier at age
15. He's been designing floats for the Rose Parade ever since.
The third-generation Angeleno
raised in Boyle Heights to a painter - mother, and Army
staff sergeant father, took classes at Art Center College of Design
when it was located on Third Street in Los Angeles, eventually
graduating from Cerritos College and Cal State Long Beach, where he
has since set up a scholarship fund.
He dedicates his floats to his parents each year. For him, there is
more meaning and feeling behind them than mere physical splendor. Rodriguez especially enjoys the parade's “international flavor,”
and the idea that it is a melting pot of all of the cultures of Los Angeles
celebrating together on the first day of the year. He calls it the
Rodriguez always shares that ride with his constant companion, a
hyacinth macaw named Sebastian. Before Sebastian,
Roxy accompanied Rodriguez in the parade for many years. The year
Roxy died, Rodriguez opted to sit out the procession and instead
commentated with Univision, a presentation that won an Emmy.
From Vegas and Disneyland to Korea, Taipei and
Thailand, his imagination sprang Circus Circus' 12-story clown in
Reno, facades and sculptures for other gaming establishments, including the
Flamingo Hilton and Caesars Palace, the “Walt
Disney's Parade of Dreams” and the villa at Ferrari-Carano
Winery. Rodriguez has also worked with Radio City Music Hall in New York, the
World's Fair in New Orleans and the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Designing floats for the Rose Parade is a year-round job.
Before all the flowers have even been applied to the floats in
Monday's parade, Rodriguez is already thinking about the next year.
The spectacular larger-than-life floral creations of Raul Rodriguez
are part of the magic of America's parades and pageantry. Seen by millions of people
around the world, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena,
California is broadcast internationally.
that a float must be entertaining and have irresistible photographic
appeal and quick visual impact, like a moving stage set.
70% of his designs for the Rose Parade have won awards, making him
the parade's premier designer.
Besides being a visionary designer, Raul Rodriguez thinks like a set
director with a sense of high drama. Floats are a larger-than-life
expression which incorporate the poetry of flowers and the power of
color to him.
in East Los Angeles, he is a nature lover and finds inspiration
in America's rich cultural heritage and the wonder and beauty of
nature's own displays.
Raul Rodriguez has always been in love with creative design. At age
15, he designed his first winning Rose Parade float for the City of
Whittier, California as part of a high school competition. The next
year, he won a scholarship to Art Center of Design and later
completed his formal art education at Cerritos College and
California State University at Long Beach. After graduation, he
joined Walt Disney Company, followed by Federal Sign & Signal and
Heath & Company, designing facades for hotels and casinos, including
neon signs and sculptures for the Flamingo Hilton, Las Vegas; Reno's
Circus Circus, including its million-dollar 12-story clown. Under
the auspices of his own firm, Rodriguez has designed the Eldorado
Hotel/Casino; and the Flamingo Hilton in both Reno and Laughlin.
His boundless energy and unique talent have led him on grand scale projects
throughout the country.
He also painted the Portrait of Pope John Paul
which was selected as the cover for the memorial publication, "The Holy Father's
Visit to the Southland."
Raul and his macaw, Sebastian
Raul R. Rodriguez
This artist of international acclaim, has pioneered the design of
hundreds of magnificent award - winning floats for the Tournament of
roses Parade in Pasadena. A few of his accomplishments include the
opening stage set design for the Worlds Fair in New Orleans, Art
Director for the Philadelphia's "We the People 2000" Parade and
consultant to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
His career began at the age of 15, when he created his first Rose
Parade float. Raul has won more awards than any other designer in
the history of the Rose Parade. His concepts, over the years, have
illuminated and imaged prestigious gaming establishments in Las
Vegas, Reno and Laughlin, Nevada. Internationally, his illuminated
neon designs are also in Korea, Taipai, and Thailand. He has also
designed for or consulted for Harley Davidson, Ferrari Carano
Winery, Landmark entertainment, Walt Disney, and Radio City Music
Hall in New York City.
In the last daylight hours of December afternoons, as shadows
lengthen, Raul Rodriguez’s stately Mediterranean house in the
Hancock Park area gradually becomes a wonderland.
From the curving staircase in the foyer to the far corners of the
high ceilings in the living and dining rooms, masses of twinkling
white lights heighten the sheen of graceful gold and silver lame
wreaths and gold-leaf fruit arrangements.
Renaissance angels on various lofty perches seem ready to burst into
a Corelli fanfare, and oversize ornaments massed on a 9-foot tree
sparkle in a rainbow of jewel tones. In a recessed front window, St.
Nicholas, resplendent in white fur and red velvet, stands beside a
snowy tree with tiny white lights. It almost seems the snow is
Standing in his living room one day last week, Rodriguez surveyed
the opulent scene thoughtfully. “I didn’t do as much this year.”
For Rodriguez, in his 50s and one of the world’s foremost designers
of fantasy–he has a record 20 floats in the Jan. 1 Rose
Parade–holiday decorating means incorporating lavish objects into a
baroque symphony of sculpture, art treasures and crystal.
And, to the public’s delight, his decorated lawn at 3rd Street and
Windsor Avenue becomes a traffic-stopping toy land with re-created
scenes from past Rose Parade floats.
Raised in Boyle Heights, he
won a high school contest to design a float for the city of
Whittier, and has since become the most honored float designer in
the history of the Rose Parade. As a student at the old Art Center
College of Design on 3rd Street, he rode three buses to get to
Eighteen years ago he bought his dream house, which
was built in 1919 and is modeled after a larger-scale estate. It serves as his studio,
as well. Work is an extension of life so the home suits him well.
Rodriguez changes his holiday look every year
in his home, incorporating things
from past years and other holidays, and buying new decorations. He likes Pic
‘N’ Save, and the drugstores for decorations.
On the 3rd Street side of
his lawn, it is protected by a chain-link fence, for safety purposes, said
Rodriguez. The yard is full of wires and electric boxes during the holiday
lighting event. The flood-lit panorama steals the show in the neighborhood.
Life is a series of moments of beauty. They save us from becoming stagnant.
Raul R. Rodriguez has won
more awards than any other designer in the history of the Rose Parade, and by
builder Fiesta Parade Floats.
Raul R. Rodriguez has pioneered the design of hundreds of floats for
the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. A third generation
native of Los Angeles, Rodriguez's career began at the age of 15,
when he created his first Rose Parade float. A classically trained
artist in drawing and painting, Raul was raised in East Los Angeles,
studied at the Art Center School of Design, and graduated from
Cerritos College, and California State University Long Beach.
Rodriguez has worked with Universal Studios, Landmark Entertainment,
Radio City Music Hall in New York, and the Walt Disney Company.
Rodriguez was the key production designer of the all-new Disney¹s
50th anniversary parade called "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams"
which highlights the many classic Disney stories and characters that
have contributed to the magic of Disneyland over the past five
Raul R. Rodriguez
Raul is an artist and conceptual designer of international acclaim.
He has designed hundreds of magnificent floats for the Tournament of
Roses Parade in Pasadena and has won more awards than any other
designer in the Rose Parade history.
He celebrates the world's diverse cultures and expresses this
through his larger-than-life presentations that allow him to relate
the wonders of life in bold, unique art forms. raulrodriguez.com
Flamingo Hotel and
Casino, Park Place Entertainment, a Rodriguez Design
3555 Las Vegas
Blvd., Las Vegas, NV
The horizontal neon bars chase each other from bottom to top,
and the incandescent bulbs oscillate rapidly. The two, rosebud type
figures in the rear of the property also animate in the same
fashion. The incandescent bulbs in the logo text above the old
porte-cochere also oscillate. The bulbs in the faceted fascia below
the old porte-cochere oscillate rapidly. The two, logo/text signs on
the new porte-cochere are also filled with incandescent bulbs that
oscillate also. The crest item that sits on the southwest corner of
the building is lined with incandescent bulbs that chase downward,
down raceways, running the length of the building. The bulbs chase
all the way until the end of the tracks. The logo, above the bulbous
plumage, on the east face of the southernmost tower is also filled
with oscillating incandescent bulbs, while the neon bars and
incandescent bulbs on the plumage below the text chase upward from
bottom to top.
Environment: The Flamingo is in between the Barbary Coast and O'Shea's on the east side of the street. The establishment itself
dominates the stretch of property, separating the pedestrian from
the sidewalk with various shrubbery and palm, a phenomenon seen
often on the strip. Exiting the Barbay Coast, headed north, the
passerby is seamlessly brought into the Flamingo, bombarded by the
vibrant pink and orange plumage, and continuous atmosphere.