Havana, Feb 17 (IANS) The 21st edition of the annual Cuba’s Habanos Cigar Festival will begin here on Monday, which will showcase new premium handmade cigars to domestic and international aficionados.
The long anticipated event, which brings together cigar lovers, experts, executives and traders from around 60 countries, is also dedicated to the host the city’s upcoming 500th anniversary this November, reports Xinhua news agency.
The festival, which will run until February 22, has become a meeting point for manufacturers, distributors and consumers from various latitudes.
On this occasion, Habanos S.A., the Cuban-Spanish company which globally commercialises cigars, has dedicated a special event to one of the brands closely related to Havana.
“The San Cristobal de La Habana brand which also turns 20 years old this year will have custom-made cigars for the occasion and will be showcased at the inaugural gala of the festival,” Jose Maria Lopez, the company’s development Vice President, told Xinhua.
“Trinidad”, one of the firm’s most luxurious brands, will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
“This is a brand that in its early years was not marketed to the public as it was used exclusively for state gifts. In the 90’s it was launched internationally and we have several initiatives to celebrate this important moment,” said Lopez.
As part of the activities, participants will visit plantations in Vuelta Abajo, in the Pinar del Rio province, which is considered to be the best land in the world for growing tobacco.
Guests will also visit factories in the capital and participate in conferences, blind tastings, presentations, contests and the traditional auction of humidors (a humidity-controlled box used for storing cigars, cigarettes or pipe tobacco) at the closing gala dinner, whose funds are donated to the Cuban health system.