Conch Republic Independence Celebration 42nd Annual – April 20 – 29, 2024
Celebrate Freedom in Key West
Key West's Conch Republic Independence Celebration is a fun annual event that honors our eccentric community with 10 days of fun races and parties. Every April, people come from all over to celebrate the independence of Key West and the entire Florida Keys.
April 21st through 30th 2023
The History of the Conch Republic
The Conch Republic was formed in response to actions by the US Border Patrol and the main goal of the Conch Republic is to bring Humor, Warmth, and Respect to the world. The motto is, “We Seceded Where Others Failed!” On April 23rd, every year, people gather to honor the 1982 formation of the Conch Republic.
2023 Schedule of Events
DRAFT Schedule Subject to change. Updated 01/30/2023.
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
CONCH REPUBLIC “OFFICIAL” MERCHANDISE BOOTH & WELCOME CENTER at Thompson Plaza, Key West’s Historic Seaport, foot of Greene & Elizabeth Streets.
ALL DAY / EVERY DAY!
SAIL ABOARD MAJESTIC KEY WEST HISTORIC SCHOONERS, including Conch Republic Flagship Wolf, Danger, When & If, Jolly II Rover & America; and the Luxury Catamaran Argo Navis.
DAY SAILS, SNORKEL TRIPS & ALL-DAY ADVENTURES AT SEA aboard Fury Catamarans and Sloop High Tide.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21st
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM RAISING OF THE COLORS at Mallory Square, 400 Wall Street. FREE.
7:00 PM – KICK-OFF PARTY & CONCH SHELL BLOWING CONTEST hosted by Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters”, 202 William St., Key West Historic Seaport. FREE (Cash Bar)
SATURDAY, APRIL 22ND
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM 3rd Annual CONCH REPUBLIC CONCHY BEACH CLEANUP WITH KW PLOGGERS at Higgs Beach. Meet at Salute! On The Beach, 1000 Atlantic Blvd. FREE
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM 41ST ANNUAL CONCH REPUBLIC ART & CRAFT FAIR ON DUVAL, between Baton & Greene. Benefits KW High School Senior Art Scholarships: FREE
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CONCH CRAWL BAR STROLL & DISTILLERY TOUR through Old Town. Includes drinks at each stop, and Event T-shirt. COST: $40/$35 in Advance, if purchased by April 20.
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM ANNUAL CONCH REPUBLIC DRAG RACES ON DUVAL at Bourbon Street Pub. FREE
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM The 2ND ANNUAL CONCH REPUBLIC WEARABLE ART FASHION SHOW at Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Benefit for Wesley House CR Foster Children’s Fund. COST: TBA
SUNDAY, APRIL 23RD
10:30 AM FURY’S ULTIMATE ADVENTURE H2.0 631 Greene St., Key West Historic Seaport. COST: $199.95 / 11+ years, $139.95 / Kids 4-10, FREE
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM SUNSET CRUISE aboard the ARGO NAVIS, Zero Margaret St., Key West Historic Seaport. COST: $111. Limited seating.
MONDAY, APRIL 24th
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM CONCH REPUBLIC K-9 UNIT RECRUITMENT PARTY, The Emporium at Kaya Island Eats, 618 Duval St., $25 Unit Membership Fee. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Florida Keys SPCA. Your dog’s unit membership includes: Unit Registration & Listing as an Official Member of the Conch Republic K-9 Unit Active Duty 2023, Small nibbles for pups & people, full cash bar available, and Doggie Bags with goodies for all doggies. At 6pm, there will be a “Best in Show” costume contest for best Military costume with First, Second & Third place prizes! In order to march with the unit in the parade on April 27th, new Handlers and Recruits will need to purchase their Official Conch Republic K-9 Unit Uniforms ($25 includes handler T-shirt and K-9 bandana). RSVP 305-294-0990.
TUESDAY APRIL 25th
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CONCH REPUBLIC MILITARY MUSTER & CONCH-TAIL PARTY aboard USCGC INGHAM Museum Ship. Benefit for Wesley House CR Foster Children’s Fund. COST: GEN ADM: $20 / $15 in Uniform. VIP Diplomatic Reserved Seats (includes CR pin): $60 / $50 in Advance.
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM MANDATORY CAPTAINS’ MEETING CR INDEPENDENCE BOAT PARADE, hosted by Schooner wharf bar, “Official Party Headquarters,” 202 Willian St, Key West Historic Seaport. FREE (Cash Bar.)
THURSDAY, APRIL 27th
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PARADE PRE-PARTY a Southernmost House Hotel, 1400 Duval Street: FREE (Cash Bar.) CONFIRM SOUTHERNMOST HOUSE.
6:00 PM to Parade Kick-Off Time! PRE-PARADE K-9 UNIT MUSTER PARTY, CONFIRM Southernmost Inn & details.
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM WORLD’S LOOOOONGEST PARADE on Duval (from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico!) FREE
9:00 PM – LATE PARADE AFTER PARTY & AWARDS CEREMONY Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters,” 202 William St., Key West Historic Seaport. FREE (Cash Bar.)
FRIDAY, APRIL 28TH
7:00 PM 41st Annual REENACTMENT OF THE GREAT SEA BATTLE OF THE CONCH REPUBLIC, in, alongside, and above Key West Harbor is not to be missed. Best viewing at Mallory Square, 411 Wall St., Ocean Key Resort Sunset Pier and Opal Resort & Marina Sunset Deck, FREE (Cash Bar.)
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM VIP VIEWING PARTY – CR INDEPENDENCE NAVAL PARADE & GREAT SEA BATTLE
8:00 PM – LATE 41st Annual “GREAT SEA BATTLE SURRENDER CEREMONY & VICTORY PARTY” at Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters” 202 William St., Key West Historic Seaport. FREE
SATURDAY, APRIL 29TH
42ND Annual “CONCH REPUBLIC BLUE RIBBON BED RACES” on Duval. Benefits Sister Season Fund. Registration at 1 PM, Race at 3 PM & Awards Ceremony at 6 PM. ENTRY FEE Starts at $200.
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM 38TH Annual “SCHOONER WHARF WRECKERS CUP RACE SERIES” CAPTAINS’ MEETING at Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters,” 202 William St. FREE (Cash Bar.)
7:00 PM 38TH Annual PIRATE BALL & COSTUME CONTEST at Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters,” 202 William St., Key West Historic Seaport. FREE (Cash Bar.)
SUNDAY, APRIL 30TH
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM KEY WEST ARTISAN MARKET, Higgs Beach, 1801 White St. FREE.
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM 38th Annual SCHOONER WHARF WRECKERS CUP RACE SERIES to Sand Key Lighthouse with the Schooner Wharf Wreckers Fleet.
5:00 PM – 8 PM JAZZ IN THE GARDENS HOTEL FOR THE CONCH REPUBLIC, 526 Angela Street. For more info, visit: GardensHotel.com FREE (Cash Bar.).
7:00 PM 38TH Annual SCHOONER WHARF WRECKERS CUP RACE SERIES AWARDS PARTY & CEREMONY Schooner Wharf Bar, “Official Party Headquarters.” FREE (Cash Bar.)