Monday, February 28, 2005

This Week on the Island 04/25/2004

'This week on the Island' is written by Doug Bennett and is an update to friends about happenings in Key West last week. Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week starts the celebration of 'The Great Conch Republic'

History: In April of 1982 the US Government used the US Border Patrol to block US#1 leading into the Keys. The story is that they were looking for illegal aliens. The traffic backed up for many miles on a daily basis and Key West, which lives on tourism, had very few visitors. Key West, felt that if the US Government was using the US Border Patrol, then they must consider the Keys as NOT being part of the US. Key West succeeded from the Union, threw stale Cuban bread at the US Navy personal that were invited to the meeting, then surrendered. We applied for $1 Billion in foreign aid to repair our war torn country.

Each year we celebrate this event by re-enacting many things that never happened in the first place. An example would be: the citizens march to Fort Zackery Taylor to re-enact the capture of the fort for 'The Great Conch Republic. (It never happened). We also have 'The Great Conch Republic' sea battle that never happened.

Friday was the opening of 'The Great Conch Republic' store at 430 Duval followed by the kick off party for 'The Great Conch Republic Celebration' at Schooner Wharf Bar. All of the dignitaries of 'The Great Conch Republic' were there. The new Conch Republic flag was unveiled and we had 'The Great Conch Republic' conch shell blowing contest. The Caribbean Queen Junkanoo band played and was followed by Buffalo Strange.

Saturday was a full day.'The Great Conch Republic' 7 mile bridge run was held at 7:00 AM. There were almost 1,800 participants. All traffic if both directions was stopped for the race. 'The Great Conch Republic' Drag races were held on Duval Street. Extra points were accumulated by any drag queen with heels greater that the mandatory 3 inches. This was followed by 'The Great conch Republic' drag queen boxing match. Makeup was messed up as the queens got into it. The Green Parrot was the host for 'The Great Conch Republic' Royal Investiture Party.

Sunday was 'The Great Conch Republic' dessert contest at Bayview Park, followed by 'The Great Conch Republic' wreakers race finals at Schooner Wharf. (Best viewing from Mallory Square.)

More next week.

Key West, you have got to love it.
Doug Bennett