For many, January is a miserable month. However, for cigar enthusiasts, it signals the arrival of festival season! Throughout January and February around the world, a number of cigar festivals take place each year, all celebrating cigars, tobacco and the all-round experience of enjoying a good old stogie. So, if you fancy a winter getaway to one of these fantastic annual gatherings, we’ve got some important dates for your diary for 2018!
The Nicaraguan Cigar Festival – Puro Sabor
Residing in one of José Padrón’s favourite destinations, the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival “Puro Sabor” is certainly not one to miss. Taking place from the 22nd-27th of January, this festival invites cigar-lovers from around the globe to enjoy the fruits of the Nicaraguan cigar industry, celebrating its suppliers as well as the tobacco itself. This annual event is organized by the Nicaraguan Chamber of Tobacco, a group constituted by 27 of the most renowned tobacco companies in Nicaragua.
Along with showcasing some of the country’s finest tobacco products, the festival also highlights the importance of ethical production, protecting the interests of workers as well as consumers. This ethos is reflected throughout the six-day event, which promises a jam-packed itinerary for guests to enjoy, including everything from factory and plantation visits to fine dining and beach activities. So, if you’re looking for a little cultural exploration alongside the pleasure of a good smoke, the Nicaraguan Cigar Festival should be high on your list!
The Great Smoke 2018
From the 8th-11th of February, The Great Smoke will celebrate its 12th annual gathering in Florida. The main event, which will be held on Saturday 10th of February at the South Florida Fairgrounds, will see the appearance of over 40 of the cigar industry’s most influential figures and manufacturers. There will also be plenty of booze and grub for guests to enjoy. An after-party held at the Spearmint Rhino West Palm Beach will follow at 6pm, where the fun is expected to continue long into the night.
If you fancy going for the full-whack four days, Thursday will kick off with a free pre-event party at the Smoke Inn West Palm Beach at 7pm. The weekend will then begin with an exclusive VIP dinner at Ruth Chris Steak House on Friday, along with another free party at Smoke Inn Boynton Beach from 7-10pm. Finally, Sunday will be host to the Big Delicious Brunch – pay $35 for an all-you-can-eat buffet from 12-3pm to rid those horrendous hangovers. Promising an optional four-days of fun, The Great Smoke 2018 is not to be missed.
Situated on the stunning shores of the Dominican Republic coastline, the Procigar Festival promises a luxurious cigar experience. Taking place from the 18th-23rd of February, the festival is split into two parts, the first happening at Casa de Campo from the 18th-20th and the second at Santiago de los Caballeros from the 20th-23rd. In the first two days, guests will be treated to a sponsored excursion to Tabacalera de García cigar factory, capturing a behind-the-scenes experience and enjoying a taste of premium cigars throughout. Chill-time on the beach is also included, where soaking up the sun with a smooth malt is a must.
The second half of the trip promises an exciting schedule that will span over the remaining three days, with cigar field and factory tours, beach excursions, seminars and workshops all offered for visitors to enjoy. Lunch with industry experts is one of the festival’s highlights, as well as a premium open bar that can be enjoyed at all dinner party events. Procigar Festival is certainly a gathering not to be missed by those who love a life of luxury.
The Festival del Habano
Travel to Cuba from February 26th-March 2nd to be part of the 20th edition of the Festival del Habano. This prestigious yearly gathering will take place in Havana and welcomes cigar lovers on a global scale. As a guest, you will get to visit Vuelta Abajo to see some of the finest growing Cuban tobacco, attend several gala dinners and be one of the first globally to premiere a selection of newly released Cuban cigars that will be revealed during the week-long event.
The finals of the Habanos sommelier contest are one of the highlights of this event and are not to be missed, taking place from 9.30-10.30am at the Convention Center. Later in the evening at 7pm, the last gala dinner will commence, drawing the festival to a close and celebrating the two new vitolas of the Partagas Linea Maduro and a humidor auction.
From Nicaragua to Cuba, Cigar festival season has arrived. So chaps, get your bags packed and favourite cigars ready because the next few months are sure to be busy.