An islander since 1974 Federico Padovan came to the key by way of Montevideo, Italy, to Uruguay, to Los Angeles, to New York, almost to Phoenix, Arizona when he and his family were diverted to Key Biscayne thanks to a local resident he met on the flight to Phoenix who suggested the Key Biscayne climate would better suit his distance runner lifestyle. He has been a parade float participant for 44 years, winning many trophies over time including during the 18 years when he designed trophies for the Yacht Club as well as his many wins in golf cart, bicycle, bike with trailer, and vehicle entries.
“I am 83 years old and I’ve been participating every year consecutively for the last 44 years since the first year I helped my daughter Paola decorate her bike and she won. She had flags from all over the world underneath the handle bars and the rest of the bike was decorated with Fourth of July and Key Biscayne paraphernalia.
I have a degree in Set Design from UCLA that helped a lot. Over the years at the Yacht Club we did many incredible floats like one called “Key Biscayne: The Bridge to the Americas,” another one with a mermaid theme, and many other different floats, I won most beautiful about eight times. A few years ago I did a smart car dedicated to Tim Stickney.
This is the most important day of the year in Key Biscayne, where we also help others have fun. It is a patriotic event I could do and get my children involved with. It’s part of my contribution to America, the best country in the world.”