Ringing in the New Year in Key West! Welcome 2017!

ChampagneIt seems like everyone is ready for 2016 to be over! If you are ringing in the New Year in Key West, check out all of the New Year’s Eve holiday happenings below. Find out where you can go to enjoy a meal with a glass of champagne or two and where to find entertainment that can only be experienced here on our island! Let’s welcome 2017 with a party in Paradise!

Restaurants

Abbondanza is doing a 4 course classic Italian dinner for $41 per person. Please call 305-292-1199 for reservations.

Commodore Waterfront Restaurant is offering a special 3-course menu for $79 per person. Please call 305-294-9191 for reservations.

Duffy’s Steak and Lobster House is having a 4-course dinner for $39 per person. Please call 305-296-4900 for reservations.

The Grand Cafe located at 314 Duval Street has a special 4-course dinner for New Year’s Eve. The early seating is priced at $95 per person and the late seating is priced at $110 per person. For reservations call 305-292-4740.

Martin’s Key West at 917 Duval Street is offering a special 4-course meant for $125 per person. Check out the menu! Call 305-295-0111.

One Duval at the Pier House Resort and Spa will have a special new years eve menu featuring delicacies such as foie gras and grilled lobster tail. For reservation, call 305-296-4600.

Rooftop Cafe offers their full dinner menu along with holiday specials. In addition to the regular menu, special multi-course menus are often available. Reservations on all major holidays are recommended. Please contact the restaurant in advance for specific details or questions.

SHOR at the Hyatt Resort will have a special menu for New Year’s Eve! Please call 305-809-4000 for reservations.

Southernmost Beach Cafe located at 1405 Duval Street is open for dinner New Year’s Eve! Call 305-295-6550 for reservations.

Entertainment / Celebrations

New Year’s Eve: Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf – For piratical partiers, a New Year’s Eve salute to Key West’s rowdy seafaring roots is scheduled at the island’s Historic Seaport. At midnight, a winsome pirate wench is to descend from the top of the mast of the tall ship America 2.0 as cannon blasts welcome 2014. A dove release is to follow. Scallywags in attendance can expect live music, dancing and festivities until 4 a.m., without a cover charge, at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.

New Year’s Eve: Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s – The arrival of 2014 is to be heralded on the island’s Duval Street with the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval. Thousands of spectators gather on Duval for the annual gala, emceed by a rooftop host starting at 10 p.m. and featuring dancing in the street and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock. At midnight, the shell descends and cheers erupt. Stellar Mojo Band is to perform on Sloppy Joe’s indoor stage, rounding out the revelry. No reservations or tickets are taken, but a door charge is required to party inside the bar.

New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop Celebration – The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St. Seconds before midnight, the high heel bearing a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi is to be lowered from the second-story balcony of the complex toward the cheering crowds below. As midnight strikes and the New Year officially begins, she will land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.

Transportation

DON’T DRINK & DRIVE!!! With that in mind… The City of Key West Department of Transportation is offering transportation for the holiday so that you won’t drink and drive!

Two city buses will travel along Northside Drive, Flagler Avenue, Maloney Avenue, North Roosevelt Boulevard, and South Roosevelt Boulevard and Four Lower Keys buses with service between Marathon and Key West will be traveling southbound to Fausto’s Food Palace and returning as far as MM 52.5 across from Walgreen’s on 109th Street in Marathon. Designated pick up and drop off points in Old Town Key West is Fausto’s Food Palace at Bahama and Fleming Streets.

The New Year’s Eve shuttle begins service at 4:00PM in the Lower Keys and 6:00 pm in Key West and Stock Island. The Last trip from Key West at Fausto’s to Marathon will depart no later than 2:00AM. One way safe ride shuttle fares are $10 per person per trip for Lower Keys revelers and $5 per person per trip for city revelers. Exact change is required and no passes or discounts will be available for this shuttle. No alcohol, toys or weapons are allowed. For more information you can visit www.kwtransit.com or call 305-600-1455 or 305-809-3910.

See what else is happening on the island during your visit by checking out our Key West Events Calendar, and for other things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Before making your reservations for dinner reservations check out our restaurant reviews!

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!
Island Genn

Key West Concierge

Conch Republic

conch-republic-logoYou may have heard Key West referred to as the Conch Republic. That is because in 1982, Key West seceded from the United States.

What prompted this move was a roadblock set up by the US Border Patrol on US1 in Florida City, blocking the only way to get to the Florida Keys via vehicle. Delays getting into the Keys were starting to effect the economy of the islands when people decided to cancel their vacations to the area because they wanted to avoid the hassle. After petitions from Florida Keys government officials to the United States Federal government to remove the road block were denied, Keys community leaders determined that a roadblock separating Monroe County from the rest of Florida was basically the same as a road block between the United States and Mexico or Canada. So, they decided that seceding from the United States was their best option.

Then Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlaw was chosen as the Prime Minister of the new Conch Republic. On April 23rd he read aloud the Conch Republic Proclamation of Secession in the middle of Clinton Square. Afterwards he declared war on the United States by throwing stale Cuban bread at the federal agents that were in Key West to monitor the secession situation. A Conch Republic Military was even formed from locals with boats and planes.

After this stunt, the United States government did finally remove the road block, although the secession was never formally addresses by anyone.

So nothing ever really became of the Conch Republic. But in the 1990s Conch Republic Days began as a way to draw tourists to the area celebrating the islands’ attempts at secession from the great nation of the United States. Events for this week long celebration held each April include a drag race, a bed race, a car show, a music festival, parades, a craft show, and the famous Bloody Battle. You can even buy a Conch Republic Passport (which is not good for anything other than a silly souvenir).

April 17 – 26, 2015 is when this year’s celebration of the Florida Keys secession from the United States will be celebrated. So come on down and join in on the wacky fun!