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Beds Aren’t For Sleeping In Key West Saturday

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/Florida Keys News Bureau) – Beds were propelled down Key West’s famous Duval Street Saturday afternoon.  It was part of the Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race.

Billed as “the most fun you can have in bed with your clothes on,” the madcap racing challenge was a facet of the island city’s Conch Republic Independence Celebration.

Race rules dictated that participating beds be decorated, mounted on wheels, and either pushed or pulled up Duval by teams of “strange bedfellows.” At least one team member was required to ride on the bed.

Teams were pitted against each other to pilot their beds as fast as possible to the finish line.

Participants in the Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race roll down Duval Street Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Key West, Fla. The wacky event was a facet of the Conch Republic Independence Celebration that commemorates the Florida Keys' 1982 "secession" from the United States, prompted by the installation of a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at the head of the island chain. Events end Sunday, April 27. (Courtesy: Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Participants in the Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race roll down Duval Street Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Key West, Fla. The wacky event was a facet of the Conch Republic Independence Celebration that commemorates the Florida Keys’ 1982 “secession” from the United States, prompted by the installation of a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at the head of the island chain. Events end Sunday, April 27. (Courtesy: Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Beds were decorated as everything from a devilish chariot piloted by scantily-clad “fiends” to a ladies’ wrestling ring. Riders included a female impersonator in blonde wig and makeup and 89-year-old Key West matriarch Edith Amsterdam draped in the flag of the Conch Republic.

The Conch Republic Independence Celebration commemorates the day in 1982 when the Florida Keys staged a “secession” from the United States after a U.S. Border Patrol blockade was installed at the head of the island chain.

The 2014 festival began April 18 with events including a sea battle featuring tall ships, a “drag race” for female impersonators and the so-called world’s longest parade.

Festivities conclude Sunday after a sailing race and a musical theater production chronicling the republic’s creation.
The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

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