With the scenic Pocono Mountains in the backdrop and more than 6000 registered enthusiasts, Cigars International (CI), the world’s largest online retailer of premium cigars, hosted its 16th annual, 5-day cigar sensory overload known as CIGARFest. This festival (understatement) becomes the undisputed center of the cigar universe every Spring, as enthusiasts from all over the country converge upon northeast Pennsylvania for the opportunity to tailgate, fellowship, eat, drink, and enjoy cigars with their favorite names in the cigar industry.
Starting on Wednesday, May 1st and concluding on May 5th, CI held simultaneous events with Drew Estate, CAO, Perdomo, Alec Bradley and Oliva at each of their 3 retail stores, Bethlehem Downtown, the Bethlehem Superstore and the Hamburg Superstore, all within a one-hour drive of one another. Additionally, ticketed events such as dinners with Raphael Nodal of Aging Room Cigar, Rocky Patel of Rocky Patel Cigars and Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley, afforded guests the opportunity to partake in gourmet cuisine that perfectly paired with the dinner host’s cigars.
Lines formed early and often around the Split Rock Resort for entrance to the main events on Friday and Saturday of CIGARfest 2019. Enthusiasts with VIP tickets were able to enter the event space hours earlier to take advantage of specials and additional access to manufacturers. For those that did not choose the VIP option, the party spilled over in the parking lots and resort grounds as RVs and tents covered the area as far as eyes could see. There were no bad tickets to CIGARfest, as each pass gave guests at least one cigar from each of the over 50 companies represented and large duffle bags pre-filled with additional cigars and CIGARfest merchandise.
Because CI is known for their cigar deals and exclusive CI-only cigars, booths were set up throughout the venue for consumers to make additional 5-pack, 10-pack, and box purchases if so desired. For many, CIGARfest was their one-stop cigar supply shop for the year, while others were there to add to their regular cigar rotations. The only thing missing was someone dressed as Santa Claus, as the atmosphere felt much like an adult Christmas Day complete with raffles, giveaways, buffets and live music to keep the festivities lively.
To view all of the CIGARfest 2019 action and to be informed of when tickets go on sale for CIGARfest 2020, visit Cigarfest.org or check out the photos on Instagram using the hashtags #CIGARfest2019 and #CInation.