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Budget Cuts To Keep Coast Guard Out Of Conch Republic Celebration

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) — Federal budget cuts have scuttled the Coast Guard's plans to take part in the annual Conch Republic celebration this year.

Coast Guard crews and vessels have been regular participants in the annual Conch Republic festivities for the last 30 years. Organizer Peter Anderson said Sunday that the April 26 naval parade will go on but they will not be able to take part in the 10-day celebration.

The Conch Republic is a tongue-in-cheek creation that dates to April 23, 1982. Keys residents claimed they were "seceding" from the U.S. to protest a Border Patrol roadblock established at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway.

Key West-based Coast Guard officials say they hope to participate in Conch Republic events next year.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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