Every year during our vacation, the Florida Keys celebrate their 2 minutes of independence from the United States. The General of the Conch Republic, Sir Peter Anderson, said it best – “Dedicated to the fundamentally American spirit of a people unafraid to stand up to ‘government gone mad with power’. As the world’s first fifth world nation, a sovereign state of mind seeking only to bring more humor, warmth and respect to a world in sore need of all three, the Conch Republic remains the country who seceded where others failed.”
That statement embodies Key West and its population and the reason why many of us love to visit and would stay for a while if only we could.
Now on to the celebration and what we got to enjoy that occurs downtown on and off during the week. We were lucky enough to catch the Great Conch Republic Drag Race on Saturday, complete with drag queens and beds or really anything that rolls on wheels. It is always such a hoot and everyone on the sidelines roots everyone else on.
On Thursday evening we caught the “World’s Longest Parade” which travels down Duval Street from the Atlantic to the Gulf and saw the world’s largest adult marching band performing (I think I am seeing a pattern here) and of course, we had to see the Bloody Battle, held on Friday night, where we sat in comfort on Sunset Pier with the rest of the crowd and watched
water cannon fights between the boats and the Coast Guard (the bad guys in this case) and small planes dropping toilet paper rolls to knock them out. When they get a direct hit the crowd roars their approval. With everyone on the island in attendance on this side of the island you would think that Key West would tilt into the sea – lol.
On Saturday, us girls split up from the guys and got to walk through the Craft Show set up on Greene Street with so many unusual items on display. Everything from jewelry to paintings, human clothing to pet apparel and orchids to food. And to top it all off a drink at Rick’s Tree Bar to cool us all off. Tip: Ask for a Key Lime Colada one of their specialties! We really didn’t want to see the week end!
Already planning to be there next year and catch some of the other events we missed such as the Annual Conch Cruiser Car Show where prizes are given in categories that haven’t even been invented yet, The Green Parrot Conch Republic Music Festival, the Pet Stroll with the cutest little dogs you’ve ever seen and The Schooner Wharf Wreckers Race, which reenacts the historic wrecking tradition of the Keys.
We had a fantastic week in the Conch Republic and can’t wait to return!