Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Famous Smoke Shop‘s Cigarnival in Easton, PA. About an hour and a half drive from home. I have visited this location before and the store and restaurant there are quite nice and the building that houses the entire operation is massive. They have plenty of space outside to erect a huge main tent, two large tents and several small tents. This was quite an enormous undertaking. Apparently the way it worked was that attendees chose from several levels of packages which determined when they were to arrive. This resulted in two waves of attendees. The venders were arranged in the two smaller tents and attendees lined up to go through and meet the reps and manufacturers and collect their cigars. After the first wave lunch was served and after the second wave there was dinner, followed by raffle drawings. Throughout the day there were interviews by Tommy Z with all of the cigar makers, and there were specials in the store all day long, as well as various deals, t-shirts, etc. in some of the small tents. Saturday at the peak I think there were probably 1500 people in attendance. In addition to the live music and interviews, Drew Estate sponsored a casino in the rear of the main tent, and there were four VIP rooms at the back of the tent, each sponsored by a company and each having a bar and comfy seating. There was quite a lengthy portion of the event in the evening which involved drawing raffle tickets and giving away prizes. There was an amazing array of prizes from boxes of cigars to iPads, TVs and Playstations. It was quite an event and well run. There were some water fights among cigar manufacturers and I’m pretty sure I saw Rocky Patel cheating in the Casino :-), as well as other craziness. The shindig was planned to go until midnight, but I split about 8 to get home at a reasonable hour (I’m old, I can’t hang). I haven’t been to an event like this before, and I’m not sure it’s really my personal cup of tea, but I’m certainly not your typical consumer and I’m no fan of crowds. However I enjoyed this event and it was great seeing many friends, and meeting some new ones.
One of the highlights for me was meeting Storm Boen, who started the C.A.T.S. (Cigar Aficionados Trades and Sales) Group on Facebook, and was instrumental in creating Operation: Cigars for Warriors, a group of folks who send cigars to the troops. I had a chance to talk with Storm in a conference room away from the craziness of the event, and captured it on video.
Some of Storm’s claims about me are surely exaggerated and I firmly believe that he’s mistaken me for someone else. 🙂 I have a great deal of respect for everything Storm does and encourage everyone to give him a hand if you are able. Storm was one of the people I had wanted to meet and his being there helped me decide to attend the event in the first place.
Here are some more photos from the event. Thank you to Jonathan, Travis, Tommy, Gary, Arthur and the staff of Famous for their hard work and hospitality. This was a very well run event. Keep an eye out for other coverage of the event on CigarAdvisor.com, StogieReview.com, ACigarSmoker.com and CigarNews.com. I smoked a few cigars at the event, a cigar I’m not allowed to talk about from Ricky Rodriquez at CAO, which was awesome, one of my own Cigar Safari blends which is coming along nicely, and an Undercrown Corona Viva, which is becoming a favorite. I’m looking forward to trying the newly released La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age which is a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive.
That’s it for now! Until the next time,