Cigar Events and Festivals to Look Forward to in 2020
With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s time to start marking your calendar for all the amazing cigar events coming up in 2020. Around the country, different publications and retailers put together incredible events and festivals all centered around our mutual love of cigars.
While IPCPR is the biggest and most important cigar event each year, it is not open to the public, being a trade show for the industry. Therefore, I have not included it in this list but thought it deserved an honorable mention. The events listed below are all ticketed events, so anyone can attend. Let’s take a look at the best cigar festivals and events for 2020.
Smokin’ in the Carolinas
I may be a little biased about this one, but Smokin’ in the Carolinas is my favorite retailer event. Every June, people come from around the country to hang out with top manufactures at the JR Cigar location in Burlington North Carolina.
It features some of the industry’s biggest names, along with special VIP events, pairing seminars, warehouse tours, and more food and beer then you’ll know what to do with. Last year, we had established manufacturers such as Nestor Plasencia, Robert Caldwell, E.P. Carrillo, the Grupo de Maestros, and Robert Holt of Southern Draw.
The event begins with a VIP dinner on Friday with cigars and amazing giveaways. This is followed by the main event the following day. All the manufacturers are under their own tents and offer incredible deals on their brands that you won’t find anywhere else.
With your swag bag being more than enough to cover your ticket price, and with special guest star Nick Libretti, the Smokin’ in the Carolinas event is one of the most special cigar festivals every year, and a once in a lifetime event for cigar smokers.
Cigar Aficionado Big Smoke
The Big Smoke is the Mecca for cigar consumers. For years, Cigar Aficionado magazine has hosted a series of these events around the country in cities such as New York, Miami, and of course the big one in Las Vegas. If there is one event that rivals IPCPR in terms of manufacturer participation, it is the Big Smoke.
To give you an example of what you can expect, here are just a few of the happenings that occurred at this year’s Big Smoke. There were seminars given by the makers of the top three cigars of the Year. This included E.P. Carrillo, Nick Melillo, and Pepin Garcia. There were business seminars, a panel of women in the cigar industry and a roll your own cigar event.
All the biggest names in the industry attend, and much like IPCPR, they each have their own booths to showcase their products. For a cigar consumer, there is no dream bigger than attending the Big Smoke.
Drew Estate Barn Smokers
For manufacturer events, I believe there are none better than the Drew Estate Barn Smokers. For a few years now, the Drew Estate team has traveled around the country, hosting these engaging and sensational events to showcase the different tobaccos used in the blends.
The biggest, and in my humble opinion best, of these events is the Connecticut Barn Smoker. For five years, people have gathered under tents in the middle of the Connecticut River Valley to learn the process of cultivating and fermenting Connecticut tobacco. Being a Connecticut broadleaf fan, you can see why I love this event.
The Barn Smoker series has grown to include several other areas which now include Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Florida, and Louisiana. You’ll receive a swag bag full of amazing cigars, tours, and lectures from Drew Estate personnel, including the man himself, Jonathan Drew.
Of course, no Drew estate event would be complete without tons of food, so make sure to show up hungry. You’ll find a list of all the Barn Smoker Events right here.
Tampa Cigar Bash
For the past ten years, The Tampa Cigar Bash has been the biggest cigar event in Florida. When you think the role that Florida plays in the cigar industry, you’ll come to realize how big of a deal that is. I would guess more then 85% of cigar manufacturers have their offices in Florida, making this a great way to get many of them in one place.
The bash is a three-day-long event, which includes pre-parties on Thursday and Friday evening, followed by a whole day event on Saturday. There are cigar deals, discussions, drinks and food, along with a meet and greets with some of your favorite manufacturers. Now hosted by Casa de Montecristo, this is the premier cigar event in Florida and will continue to be for years to come.