KEY WEST, FLA. -- A large Key Lime pie and a re-enactment of the Florida Keys' 'secession' from the United States marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Conch Republic late Monday afternoon in Key West.
The ceremony was marked by the solemn and sober attitudes that are never a part of these events in the Keys.
After all, their motto is, "We seceded where others failed."
And the Key Lime pie was a 7-foot pastry.
A fairly hefty version of the Florida Keys' signature dessert, the pie was made up of juice from 1,080 Key limes, 360 eggs, 90 cans of sweetened condensed milk and 20 pounds of pie dough.
The formation of the Conch Republic occurred after the April 23, 1982, "secession" motivated by a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint set up unexpectedly at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, the road to mainland Florida.
Federal agents said they were searching cars for drugs and illegal immigrants. The roadblock created a massive traffic jam of cars exiting the Keys, angering residents and visitors alike.
Figuring the Keys were being treated as a foreign country, local officials protested by staging the secession and raising the royal blue flag of the Conch Republic.
Many founders took part in Monday's re-enactment, proclaiming the republic, declaring war on the United States, and "battling" by bopping a real U.S. Naval officer with stale Cuban bread.
As per the original secession, they then surrendered and requested $1 billion in foreign aid.
Following the re-enactment, Key West Mayor Craig Cates used a blowtorch to brown the seven-foot-round pie's traditional meringue topping of the Key Lime pie.
The Conch Republic Independence Celebration continues through Sunday, April 29.