It is time for the annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration in Key West! As anyone who reads this blog or follows me on social media knows: I LOVE THE FLORIDA KEYS!
Conch Republic Independence Celebration
The Key West Historic District may be considered the official party headquarters of the Florida Keys. But there is so much more to the Keys than Sloppy Joes. It is a tiny city full of incredibly rich American history!
Activities include a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships and a parade dubbed the world’s longest parade. The “drag” race for female impersonators await Key West fans April 21-30 during the 41st annual Conch Republic Days celebration.
The 10 day festival commemorates the Florida Keys’ symbolic secession from the United States. However it also celebrates the reinvention as the free independent Conch Republic.
The Conch Republic, whose motto is “We seceded where others failed,” was born following a 1982 U.S. Border Patrol blockade of the island chain. In protest, the citizens of Monroe County organized a secession and declared war on the United States.
The Conch Republic Secession ended exactly one minute later. The key west secession participants surrendered 60 seconds later and demanded $1 billion in foreign aid. HA!
The Key West Conch Republic
The anniversary of the Key West Independence movement is celebrated with irreverent events that are fun and silly. The Key West Conch Republic might be silly, but it is still very meaningful. Well, if you ask me. I'm all about hanging out at the Key West Historic seaport, a conch shell blowing contest, etc.
I sometimes wonder if Monroe county residents declared war just to have a reason to have a Conch Republic Festival. It wouldn't surprise me, as I have heard about the Conch Republic Celebration ever since I was a kid!
We all know that the Conch Republic Key West folks live a totally different lifestyle. It is why it is my favorite place to go for a weekend getaway!
Check out some of our travel guides for the Florida Keys!
The Conch Festival Key West 2023 is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to celebrations in the Keys. Check out some of my favorite tips for traveling down in my favorite place in the United States!
Conch Festival Key West 2023 Schedule of Activities
The 2023 schedule begins with the Great Conch Republic Drag Race Saturday, April 22. It is located at the 700 block of Duval Street. The challenge stars drag queens and men in dresses, wigs and makeup who sprint down the pavement in high heels.
The secession’s anniversary is on Sunday, April 23. The day features a noontime reenactment of the historic act at 401 Wall St. beside Mallory Square. Mallory Square was the site of the original rebellion in the Key West historic seaport!
Many of the Conch Republic’s founders will re-create the 1982 ceremony that marked the birth of the Conch Republic. This includes including Key West’s former mayor, Dennis Wardlow!
Thursday, April 27, brings the World’s Longest Parade. The World's Longest Parade starts at 8 p.m. on Duval Street. It's called the World's Longest Parade because it begins at the Atlantic Ocean and proceeds to the Gulf of Mexico.
The action moves to Key West Harbor at 7 p.m. Friday for the Great Sea Battle of the Conch Republic. The activity features weapons ranging from water cannons to flying Cuban bread!
Noncombatants can view the seafaring spectacle from Mallory Square and harbor front resorts, restaurants and bars, like Schooner Wharf. We all love that Wharf Bar, don't we?!
Click here for TripAdvisor's top rated things to do in Key West!
Landlubbers are to vie for victory Saturday, April 29, during a charity race featuring “strange bedfellows” piloting decorated beds on wheels along Duval Street.
Other festival attractions include:
- daily tall ship and catamaran sails
- a pirates ball and other parties
- a wearable art fashion show
- artisan extravaganzas
- a sailing race that recalls the Florida Keys’ colorful maritime heritage
7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix
Finally, all Conch Republic friends and fans are invited to view Race World Offshore’s inaugural 7 Mile Offshore Grand Prix! It is a powerboat race beside the historic Seven Mile Bridge in the Middle Keys.
Racing is set for Sunday, April 30, with events to culminate in the presentation of the Conch Republic Cup. VIP spectator tickets are available at raceworldoffshore.com.
Find out more about the Conch Republic Independence Celebration
You can find all of the event information and complete Conch Republic Independence Celebration schedule of events at conchrepublic.com.
You might want to check out information about the Key West Conch Festival if this is your sort of thing!
I have spent so much time in Key West, I realy should have a designated parking space at the Conch Republic Airport! I should get my own Conch Republic passport too...yes, I know - I would only be a salt water conch!
Are you looking for somewhere to stay while you are in town for the? Check out these hotels on TripAdvisor.com!
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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