“We Seceded Where Others Failed!”

Conch Republic this. Conch Republic that. What the heck is all this “Conch Republic” stuff all about? Well, it started on April 23, 1982, following a US Border Patrol blockade of the Keys. Designed to ferret out smugglers, the blockade only served to derail the region’s emerging tourism-based economy and threatened the livelihood of Keys residents.

Needless to say, people here were all really pissed.

So with great fanfare, Key West staged a ceremonial secession, declared war on the mother country, surrendered 60 seconds later and then demanded one billion dollars in foreign aid. The publicity stunt may have been done in jest, but it worked. The US Border Patrol suspended its controversial checkpoints and the “Conch Republic” was born.

Today the Conch Republic continues to flourish with residents proudly flying Conch Republic flags, carrying Conch Republic passports and celebrating their eccentric spirit with a crazy 10-day birthday party which begins this year on Friday, April 19 and runs through Sunday, April 28.

Now in it’s 37th year, Key West’s “Conch Republic Days,” kicks off with an Opening Party and Conch Shell Blowing Contest at Schooner Wharf Bar and continues with a slew of other fun happenings including a Tall Ship Sea Battle, Red Ribbon Bed Race down Duval Street, a Pirates Ball & Pig Roast, Parade and a whole lot more.

If you’re going to be in the Keys, this week, it’s one party you don’t want to miss! For more info and a complete list of events call 305-304-2400 or hit up conchrepublicdayskeywest.com