If ever there was an icon for legendary float designer Raul R. Rodriguez, it would be a brilliantly colored macaw. Over his 38-year Rose Parade career, Rodriguez designed 528 floats and won 31 Sweepstakes trophies. Every year, he rode on the front of one his floats with a macaw on his shoulder. First it was Roxy, and in later years, Sebastian, who accompanied him on the four Dole Packaged Food floats in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Each of those illustrated the lush locations where many Dole products originate and won the Sweepstakes Trophy for Fiesta Parade Floats.
Rodriguez passed away on Feb. 18, 2015. Dole announced in a press release today that the float will honor his memory and his legacy of pushing the limits of float design with “Soaring Over Paradise,” the 2016 entry by Stanley Meyer, who designed the Sweepstakes-winning 2015 float for Dole. The design includes a flock of jewel-toned macaws in red, blue, green and yellow winging over a tropical rainforest as a zipliner soars beneath them on a working line. Four real waterfalls, animated animals including a leopard, elephant and tiger, and 12 dancers add energy to the creation.
“Raul was a member of the Dole Packaged Foods family and helped us not only create vibrant, colorful and exotic floats, but also to tell the stories of our heritage and the many cultures that contribute to our mission of inspiring healthy lifestyles,” said Dave Spare, Vice President, Marketing, of Dole Packaged Foods. “This year we are honoring our friend by dedicating our 2016 Rose Parade float entry to him, and expanding Dole’s presence with activities the week prior to the Rose Parade.” Dole is making a monetary donation in Rodriguez’ name to his alma mater, California State University Long Beach.
Dole will have a major role at the first “Live on Green” event, Dec. 29-31, 2015 at the Convention Center. There will be a special memorial for Rodriguez. The Dole Bistro will serve “exotic, healthy and fun food and drinks” and have live food and beverage demos with Dole California Cook-Off champion Ally Phillips AllysKitchen.com throughout the event.
Dole launched a sweepstakes today which runs through midnight Dec. 31 to award one winner and a guest a trip to a rainforest paradise. The grand prize is a Hawaiian vacation, including hotel and airfare. For more information about the sweepstakes, and to enter, visit Facebook.com/DolePackaged or Dole.com/paradise.
The theme of the 127th Rose Parade and 102nd Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2016 is “Find Your Adventure.” If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please post on Facebook at All Things Rose Parade or email firstname.lastname@example.org.