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Designer awarded for 500th Rose Parade float

December 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
One by one and little by little, this year's Rose Parade floats are taking shape.

But the process itself is no little feat for volunteers, or designer Raul Rodriguez.

"It's just so exciting and exhilarating to see these come to life," Rodriguez said.

Believe it or not, the Wonderful Indonesia float is Rodriguez's 500th Rose Parade creation.

Officials with the Republic of Indonesia float honored Rodriguez with the ceremonial Indonesian sword on Wednesday.

The award is a big honor, but Rodriguez, who has been designing floats since age 14, says he has no plans to slow down.

"As long as the good Lord allows my hands and my mind to work together, I'm gonna keep doing it," he said.

This float in particular carries special significance to Rodriguez, not just as his 500th design, but also because of his personal affections for Indonesia.

The milestone is one the designer shares with everyone who works on these floats.

"I'm gonna notice, 'Oh! I worked on that piece, I cut those flowers, I added that on,' and just the fact that we all worked together to do this," said volunteer Catherine Nassiri.

The Rose Parade will be held at 8 a.m. on Jan. 2 in Pasadena.