search icon

Conch Republic Days


April 19, 2024 - April 28, 2024
All Day

Event content

Conch Republic Days is an annual festival held in Key West, Florida, to celebrate the island’s unique history and culture. The festival takes place over ten days in late October and early November and features a variety of events, including parades, live music, street fairs, and costume contests.


Conch Republic Days originated in 1982 when Key West declared independence from the United States in protest of a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock that was set up on the Seven Mile Bridge, the only road connecting Key West to the mainland. The roadblock caused long delays and disrupted tourism, and the Key West City Council voted to secede from the United States and form the Conch Republic.

The Conch Republic’s secession was, of course, symbolic, but it has become a major tourist attraction. Conch Republic Days is a celebration of Key West’s independent spirit and its unique blend of cultures.


Conch Republic Days features a variety of events, including:

  • The Conch Republic Independence Day Parade: This parade features floats, marching bands, and local businesses.
  • The Conch Republic Conch Fritter Cook-Off: This competition showcases the best conch fritters in Key West.
  • The Conch Republic Bed Race: This race features teams of four people racing beds down Duval Street.
  • The Conch Republic Costume Contest: This contest features prizes for the best costumes in a variety of categories.
  • The Conch Republic Sea Cow Swim: This swim race features participants dressed in manatee costumes.
  • The Conch Republic Conch Shell Blowing Contest: This contest features participants competing to blow the loudest conch shell.