A Conch Republic flag in Key West.There’s never a bad time to visit Key West. The small Florida island is known for its idyllic weather and wealth of adventure. However, a great way to add a bit of extra fun to your getaway is by reserving your stay at NYAH, Not Your Average Hotel, during one of the many entertaining festivals that take place throughout the year. One such festival is the Key West Conch Republic Independence Celebration. Keep reading to learn more about the annual gathering.

What Is the Conch Republic?

The Conch Republic was formed in April 1982. A United States Border Patrol blockade of the Keys created a 17-mile traffic jam as agents stopped cars entering or leaving the Keys. In response, community leaders gathered at the mayor’s house and decided to try the legal route and filed an injunction. 

When that failed, the mayor said Key West was going to secede, and on April 23, they raised the Conch Republic flag, and the roadblock was eventually removed. While these actions should not be considered a revolution, they were a protest against the actions against the people of the Florida Keys.

What to Do during the Celebration

The Conch Republic Independence Celebration is a 10-day festival in April with countless things to do and see. For an official schedule, visit the festival website. To help you plan, we’ve created a list of some of our favorite activities that help make up this memorable event.

  • Things get underway with the opening ceremony and Raising of the colors at Mallory Square on Friday.
  • On Saturday, participate in the Conch Crawl Bar Stroll, Rum Salute, and Distillery Tour through Old Town.
  • Wander Duval Street between Eaton and Greene to see what you can find during the Conch Republic Art & Craft Street Fair.
  • Watch boats sail past the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration as part of the CR Independence Naval Parade.
  • Dance the night away at the Pirate Ball and Costume Contest at Schooner Wharf Bar.

Reserve Your Key West Home Base

The pool area of a Key West hotel to stay at when visiting for the Conch Republic Independence Celebration. The Conch Republic Independence Celebration in Key West is popular, so you don’t want to wait to reserve your accommodations. Thanks to its location, NYAH makes the perfect home base for anyone visiting the festival. 

Found only steps from Duval Street, our group-style accommodations provide a tranquil space to rest up after a day of fun. Offering both shared and private rooms, we can host groups big and small. Our adults-only hotel also offers incredible amenities like three pools and a hot tub. Take a look at our special offers for ways to save before reserving your stay online.