Festival Calendar: The Best Cigar Festivals in the USA in 2016

UPDATE: See the Best 2017 Cigar Festivals in the USA here

To cigar enthusiasts a new year means more than toasting champagne glasses and making empty resolutions. Instead, it promises a brand new year of exciting cigar events that will bring plenty of merriment and cheer.

If you are like me then you live for cigar events. The bigger the affair the more excited we become. By now you have probably cleared your schedule in anticipation for an action packed year of cigars, food and booze. Truth is, 2016 looks to be an incredible year for cigar smokers. There will be more events across the United States this year compared to past years, and some long time favorites have had to switch venues because of expanded itineraries and ballooning attendance. So, grab a pen, find your datebook and fire up a cigar because here are the details for America’s biggest events of 2016.

Drew Estate Barn Smoker (CT, KY)

This Drew Estate event is held twice annually, once in Connecticut (Connecticut River Valley Barn Smoker) and once in Kentucky (Kentucky Fire Cured Barn Smoker). This event is unique to Drew Estate and is designed to educate smokers about growing and processing tobacco at the farm level. It will include tours of the barns, lectures, demonstrations and tobacco tastings. Dates and specific locations have not yet been disclosed. Lodging is available. For more information please visit: www.barnsmoker.com

January 22 – Nebraska Cigar Festival (NE)

The 9th annual Nebraska Cigar Festival will take place at Lincoln Pla Mor Ballroom in Lincoln, Nebraska. Admission includes six premium cigars, two beverage tickets, Hors d’oeuvres and more.
Smoking is permitted indoors for this event. VIP Tickets are $105 and General Admission Tickets are $75. VIP entry begins at 5pm and General entry is 7pm. For tickets and more information please visit: www.nebraskacigarfestival.com

February 20 – The Great Smoke (FL)

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, The Great Smoke will take place at the American German Club in Lake Worth, Florida, a much larger facility than years past. This year promises more cigar attractions than ever before with 45 of the industry’s top brands and more than 35 cigar celebrities. Included with admission is a live concert and after-party hosted by Matt Booth of Room 101. General admission tickets are $150 and VIP tickets are $225. A pre-event VIP dinner with Bill Paley, owner of La Palina Cigars, will take place Feb. 19, at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – Tickets sold separately – $135. Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit:  www.thegreatsmoke.com

April 23 – Texas Cigar Festival (TX)

The Texas Cigar Festival, hosted by Serious Cigars, is one of the premier cigar events in the US. This year the event will take place on April 23 from 6-10pm. The venue hasn’t been released yet but it will be in the Houston area. More than 35 cigar companies are expected. Ticket holders will receive an impressive gift bag full of cigars, meet industry celebrities, and eat and drink to contentment. Both VIP and General Admission tickets will be available. VIP entrance allows for early entry, private lounge with personal seat, late departure time and bonus swag. Ticket prices haven’t been announced yet but last year General Admission was $150 and VIP was $275. Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.seriouscigars.com

April 28 – Chicago Cigar Show (IL)

This is a free event held two days prior to The Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. Tickets or reservations are not needed. Complimentary appetizers will be served. Cigars, additional food and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information visit: www.chicagocigarshow.com

April 29 & 30  – Cigarfest (PA)

Cigarfest is the world renown cigar festival hosted by Cigars International. Dubbed “America’s Mega Herf,” it is a five-day affair that is chock full of excitement. It starts with pre-party events on Wednesday, April 27 and ends with a post-party breakfast on Sunday, May 1. In between is a golf outing, Drew Estate event, Perdomo event, La Palina event, Daniel Marshall event, Game Show Night, Alec Bradley event and Rocky Patel event. The main festival will be April 29 & 30 at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale February 6 at 2pm. Ticket prices range from $160 – $250 with upgrades available. Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.cigarfest.com

May 14-21 – Rocky Patel Cigar Cruise (FL)

Sail through the Caribbean with Rocky, Nimish and Nish Patel and special guest Arielle Ditkowich of La Sirena Cigars on an eight-day cigar cruise. There will be a pre-cruise cigar party at the Ritz Carlton Miami held on May 13 at 7:30pm. The cruise itinerary includes a Bon Voyage Cocktail Party on May 14, cigar seminars and demonstrations and fun in the sun. Pricing starts at $820 per person up to $2,260 per person depending on room choice. For tickets and more information please visit: www.rockypatelcigarcruise.com

May 21 – Cars, Bars and Cigars (DE)

This event will take place at the Wild Quail Country Club in Dover, Delaware. It will feature more than 40 cigar makers, an exotic and muscle car show, micro-brew beer, wine and liquor tastings, a golf tournament, BBQ, live music, raffles, freebies and more. There are three tiers of tickets, Cigar Superstar, Cigar Herfer and General Admission. Each tier has a different entry time, 10am, 12pm and 2pm.  Tickets go on sale February 1 but pricing has not yet been released. For tickets and more information please visit: www.carsbarsandcigars.net

May 27-29 – C.A.T.S. Fest (TX)

This is a weekend-long festival that takes place at the Tejas Rodeo Company in San Antonio, Texas. It is the largest celebration in the United States that focuses on supporting US troops through Operation: Cigars for Warriors. This event includes a “monstrous haul” of cigars, rodeo, live music, dancing, raffles, food, liquor tastings and a variety of entertainment including before and after parties. Drew Estate is the major sponsor with many other big names also contributing. The event starts at 1pm but VIP ticket holders may enter at 12pm. Ticket prices range from $100 (General Admission) –  $270 (VIP & Music Festival). Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.catsfestival.com

June 3 – New York City Cigar Cruise with Hispaniola Cigars (NY)

This is a great opportunity for those living in the New York City area to enjoy an evening sailing around The Big Apple. The boat departs from New Rochelle, NY at 7pm sharp and returns at 12 midnight. There will be a wine and cheese Dock Party at 6pm. The cruise includes three premium cigars, five hour open bar with premium liquor, catered food, and DJ.  Must RSVP by May 20. Tickets are $120 per person. For tickets and more information please contact Jon Davis at 914-319-0355 or [email protected]

June – Southern Cigar Fest (GA)

This event, in its fourth year, is ballooning in popularity. It is hosted by Cutter’s Cigar Emporium in Atlanta, GA and offers smokers an incredible experience. From ‘meet and greet’ sessions to VIP receptions, this event includes everything the modern cigar enthusiast expects. There are four entry options that grant ticket holders various levels of privileges and goodies, including up to 40 cigars, gift bags, food, alcohol, and more. A specific date and venue has not yet been released, but typically it takes place in early June with tickets going on sale in April. Prices ranges from $35 – $225.  Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.southerncigarfestival.com

August – North Shore Wine, Beer & Cigar Fest (IL)

This festival takes place in downtown Libertyville, Illinois. It is  Lake County’s charity-orientated tasting festival hosted by the Libertyville Sunrise Rotary Club. Its proceeds are distributed annually at the club’s Charitable Giving Dinner to more than forty charities in the Libertyville-area and throughout Lake County. It features more than 300 different tastings of wine, beer, cigars and food. Attendees will learn how to pair different blends of cigars to compliment different wines and beers. Included in admission are beer and wine sampling tickets and a commemorative glass. Food and cigars are extra. General Admission and VIP tickets will be available. A specific date, time and pricing have not yet been released. For more information please visit: www.northshorewineandbeerfest.com

August 6 – Pittsburgh Cigar Festival

This year’s Pittsburgh Cigar Festival will take place at the historic Carrie Furnace Site in Homestead and promises to be a day of fine premium cigars, live music, spirits, craft beers and wine at a venue overlooking the Mon River. Tickets are available for USD 125.00 and include a goodie bag with cigars, drink and food tickets, spirit sample tastings and live entertainment. VIP ticket options are available for USD 250.00 or USD 450.00. For more information please visit: www.pittsburghcigarfestival.com

August 20 – Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival (CO)

This event is held at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado and offers cigar enthusiasts plenty of premium, high-end products including cigars, hand-crafted beer, wine, spirits, food, live music and more. Attendees will meet prominent cigar makers, receive an official festival bag with more than 20 cigars, a cutter, a lighter, a festival glass, a t-shirt,  and more. The festival runs from 1pm – 7pm with VIP attendees allowed to enter at 12pm.  Tickets go on sale in April and range from $45 – $550 depending on ticket level. Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.rmcigarfestival.com

September – Delaware Cigar Festival (DE)

Delaware’s premier cigar festival takes place at the Grove at Delaware Park race track in Wilmington, Delaware, typically the third Saturday of the month. It features more than 40 top manufacturers with attendees receiving a ‘goodie bag’ with more than 30 premium cigars, food, drink, music, raffles and an opportunity to purchase more cigars at discounted rates. The Grove overlooks live horse racing with the opportunity to bet on the races, plus a full service casino is also on premise. All proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The event runs from 12pm – 5pm and tickets cost $150.  For tickets and more information please visit: www.facebook.com/Delawarecigars

September – Kansas City Cigar Fest (KS)

This is a unique rooftop event atop Diebel’s Sportsmen Gallery in Overland Park, Kansas. This event features prominent cigar manufacturers, souvenir bags filled with more than 20 cigars, food, drink, raffles and more. The exact date and time have not yet been released. For more information please visit: www.kccigarfestival.com

September – Beale Street Cigar Festival (TN)

Unlike any other cigar event on the planet, the Beale Street Cigar Festival does things Memphis style. It includes cigars, live rock, blues and R&B music, Memphis BBQ, cigar rolling demonstrations, beer, bourbon and cognac tasting, celebrity sports guests, raffles and giveaways. The Silver ticket package is $75 and includes all of the above. The Gold package is $125 and includes all of the aforementioned plus access to the VIP lounge, after party and VIP celebrity dinner. Event hours are 1pm – 5pm. Lodging is available. For tickets and more information please visit: www.bealestreetcigarfestival.com

September – Gardena Food, Wine and Cigar Festival (CA)

This is a charity event hosted by the city of Gardena, California. It features over 80 retail vendors of all kinds including wine, beer, crafts, jewelry and more. General Admission tickets, which grant you entrance and a commemorative wine glass, cost $25. VIP tickets include 10 food and wine tasting tickets and an assigned seat for $60. Additional food and wine tasting tickets will be available for purchase.  It all goes down on the front lawn of Gardena City Hall. For tickets and more information please visit: www.gardenafoodwinecigarfestival.com

October – Brew City Cigar Festival (WI)

“Smoke, Eat, Drink & Play” is what this festival is all about. It takes place at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, WI. It features some of the biggest names in the cigar and spirits world, plus some of the finest restaurants and caterers in the Milwaukee area. An admission ticket guarantees you more than 20 cigars, swag, drinks and food. Many guests take advantage of the hotel package and turn the event into a weekend retreat. The exact day and ticket pricing have not yet been disclosed. For tickets and more information please visit: www.brewcitycigarfestival.com

October – The Smoking Goose (PA)

This is an exciting indoor/outdoor event hosted by Goose’s Tobacco Outlet in Limerick, Pennsylvania. It is the biggest cigar-only event in the Philadelphia region featuring more than 25 cigar manufacturers in a 5,000 sq. ft. outdoor smoking lounge. Attendees receive more than $200 worth of premium cigars, top-quality swag, a commemorative bag, a cutter, a lighter, a hat, food, live music and more. Tickets cost $150 but the exact date and time of this year’s event have not yet been released. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Cigars for Warriors organization. For tickets and more information please visit: www.thesmokingoose.com

October 13 – Port Authority Police Hispanic Society Cigar Night (NJ)

Celebrating its 10 year anniversary this fall, the Port Authority Police Hispanic Society Cigar Night has become New Jersey’s premier charity cigar event.  More than 40 cigar celebrities attend this formal gathering held at The Graycliff Manor in Moonachie, NJ. The evening begins with a lavish cocktail hour serving top shelf liquor and appetizers. It continues with a five hour open bar, live music and a four-course dinner. Each attendee leaves with more than 20 premium cigars. The time of the event is 7pm – midnight and tickets cost $150. For tickets and more information please visit:  www.berkeleyhumidor.com/items/pahscigarnight

November 5 – Ybor City Cigar Festival (FL)

Held in one of the oldest cigar cities in America, the Ybor City Cigar Festival is rich in tradition. This year it is being held on November 5 from 11am – 5pm at Centennial Park in Tampa, Florida. This event is free and open to the public. The event will offer premium cigars, food trucks, beer, wine, cigar rolling demonstrations, Dominoes playing area, Tampa Trivia Pursuit and a muscle car show. There will also be a Fuente/ J.C. Newman cigar lounge and a VIP section for which tickets will be sold prior to the event. The VIP pass includes open bar, premium cigars and food. For tickets and more information please visit: www.yborcitycigarfestival.com

George Manzella is a passionate cigar smoker who credits his father for introducing him to the leaf in 1994 when he was just 18 years old. George has been a high school teacher of English in New Jersey, USA since 2003 where he has taught literature, writing and journalism. He is also the founder of the New Jersey Cigar Club. George wrote for two local community periodicals prior to joining Cigar Journal in 2015. His passion for premium tobacco and his zest for writing has taken George on a remarkable journey through an enchanted world of unforgettable memories and life-long friendships.


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