April 22 through May 1: Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration

With activities ranging from a “drag” race to a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships, Key West humorously celebrates the Conch Republic’s independence. The celebration commemorates the Florida Keys’ secession from the U.S. following a 1982 U.S. Border Patrol blockade that virtually stopped traffic to the mainland. In protest, local officials staged the secession. After proclaiming the Conch Republic, they declared war on the mother country, pelted federal agents with stale Cuban bread, surrendered after 60 seconds and demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.  For a schedule of wacky events, check out  Conch Republic Independence Celebration.


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