Cigar aficionados will be gathering soon in the anointed Cigar City for what’s been hailed as the ‘largest cigar festival in the world.’ The Cigar Heritage Festival returns to Centennial Park in Ybor City on Saturday, December 3. The festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees to the area. Since 1998, Ybor City has been home to the popular festival which connects cigar lovers with cigar makers, local businesses, and food vendors at the community park located at 1800 E. 8th Avenue in Ybor City.
This year’s headline sponsors at the festival are Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman Cigar Co., companies who have been long established leaders in the industry, each with well over 100 years in business. Attendees will have an opportunity to mingle with representatives from their favorite cigar manufacturers, check out new releases before they are made available to the public, and watch live cigar rolling demonstrations. The festival offers a full day of live music, a wide selection of homemade premium cigars from around the world available for purchase, and vendors offering unique cigar items, art, clothing, and jewelry. In addition to providing attendees access to food and dessert trucks, the Cigar Heritage Festival will feature a 30’ Beer Truck, wine vendors, and two giant Cigar Mobile Lounges for guests to spread out and enjoy a cigar while catching up with friends.
For those who wish to plan an overnight stay following the event, the festival has lined up three hotel sponsors – Hotel Haya, Hilton Garden Inn, and Hampton Inn and Suites, all located in the heart of Ybor City. Those interested in securing event rates can find links and contact information at the festival website.
Tickets for this year’s event are available online with a few admission packages available. A general admission ticket is $10 to attend; a $25 ticket also gives attendee 5 raffle tickets, 2 drink tickets, and 2 premium cigars; and VIP tickets are available. J.C. Newman will host a pre-party for VIP guests only from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., after which the festival opens to general admission guests.
For the latest information about this year’s Cigar Heritage Festival, visit the event website by clicking here. Readers can also keep updated with the festival at its Facebook event page.
by Chris Kuhn for Destination Tampa Bay. All photos and images courtesy of Heritage Cigar Festival unless otherwise specified for editorial purposes only–all rights reserved.