Monday, April 20, 2015

Key West Seceded from the Union


It is officially too darn hot here in Key West.  This is the time of year that you either go boating, swimming, or stay in the air conditioning.

We opted not to go out in the boat yesterday because Al wasn’t feeling great.  We decided to head to Key West for lunch and then a walk around Duval Street.   We quickly discovered it was too hot to enjoy strolling Key West.

We parked by this beautiful building that was painted by the famous artist who goes only by Wyland.



Isn’t this mural fabulous? 


It wrapped around two sides of the building.









It was a huge undertaking and it looks like he had some help, but Wyland did get top billing.  :)



We were lucky enough to see him in person a few weeks ago at the annual Ocean Fest.  He painted some paintings that were auctioned off for charity.  We were told the paintings would sell at his gallery for $9000.  If you like, you can read about it HERE.   We actually saw one of those unsold paintings on the gallery wall in Key West. 

Click on the following link to see snapshots of some of his amazing paintings.  Now, I see why he is so famous.  He has galleries all over the country.

Wyland paintings

Key West has some amazing art galleries.  We’re not in the market for any art, due to lack of wall space, but we always enjoying strolling through art galleries.  If you get to Key West, be sure to check out the galleries.  There are things unique to Key West.

Near the building was a car show…..  Key West Style.

They are a part of the annual Key West Conch (pronounced “konk”) Republic Days.









There were a lot of decorated bicycles as well, but it was too darn hot to stand there and take any more pictures.


The cars are part of the annual celebration to commemorate the day Key West seceded from the union.

In April of 1982, a roadblock was set up on US 1 leading out of the Keys.  Every vehicle heading north was stopped and searched for narcotics and illegal immigrants.

The Key West City Council complained but the roadblock continued. In the eyes of the Council, since the U.S. federal government had set up the equivalent of a border station as if they were a foreign nation, they might as well become one and Key West “officially” seceded from the Union.

The Major and the Council declared Key West's independence on April 23, 1982.

As many of the local citizens were referred to as Conchs, the nation took the name of the Conch Republic and the flag still flies.

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As part of the protest, the Major was proclaimed Prime Minister of the Republic, which immediately declared war against the U.S. (symbolically breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a naval uniform), quickly surrendered after one minute (to the man in the uniform), and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid!

Every year there are parties and craziness all week in Key West, including the annual “Drag Races” which unfortunately we have missed the last two years.


Thursday there will be a parade down Duval Street billed as the longest parade since it goes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico (not a great distance in the Keys). There will be a party at Schooner Wharf and our favorite band will be playing.  We’re planning on going….if we can take the heat!


  1. How hot is it? Is doesn't seem to be bothering the people in the celebration photos.

  2. Love Key West, hot or not:) If I lived there, I might vote for succession myself:))

  3. Always something going on in Key West to keep you busy.
    If you can take the heat.

  4. We're hoping to get there really soon!

  5. Good question, is it in the 90's? Great pictures of the mural and the cars. Everything is so colorful in Key West including the people. LOL Good for them for their independence day. Love the Republic's name. What fun and what a great attitude! Foreign aid - that's just GREAT!

  6. Sounds about time for your annual pilgrimage to those Georgia Hills...but I like the Keys as well, only when it is a little cooler.


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