Saturday, September 17 marked the long awaited fifth annual Delaware Cigar Festival, organized and hosted by Gary Griffith, the Premium Cigar Manager of Delaware Cigars and the creator of Emilio and Grimalkin Cigars. The event took place at Delaware Park, which is already one of our favorite places in the area to go and waste some money on the ponies, or drop some pennies in the slots. The event was unique, as it is a big herf disguised as a charity event, although Gary won’t use the charity aspect to promote it. The format is that the manufacturers and reps sell their samples for $3 each, with all of the proceeds going to charity, which this time benefited the family of a slain police officer (news report here), this was just in the last few days and quite tragic.
For your entrance price you got a bag with about 20 or 25 cigars (nice stuff too, I looked!) and assorted swag, a nice picnic buffet with burgers, dogs, chicken, ribs and beans, and the opportunity to talk with the assorted cigar makers and reps who were there. Brands represented were: Inked Magazine, Rocky Patel, Arturo Fuente/JC Newman, Emilio Cigars with brand creator Gary Griffith, Drew Estate, Altadis USA, Oliva, Perdomo, La Sirena with Brand Ambassador Arielle Ditkowich, La Flor Dominicana, Cigar Rights of America, EO Brands with Eddie Ortega, Miami Cigar, General Cigar, 262 Cigars, Kristoff Cigars, El Primer Mundo with Sean Williams, Veritas Cigar Co., and The Cigar Agency. Keith Park from Prometheous was also there. All of these companies donated TONS of stuff, either cigars that were sold for $3 each, or stuff to be raffled off (we bought 10 tickets didn’t win a darned thing!). The attendance was capped at 300 people, including staff, press and exhibitors, so it was a nice sized crowd. It was rarely a problem to have a chat with the vendors.
In addition to getting to schmooze with some of my friends on the manufacturers side, I was able to hang out a bit with some fellow blogger types such as Barry from ACigarSmoker.com, Walt from StogieReview.com and Michael from CigarEvents.com. I also had the great pleasure of meeting one of my readers, Charlie, who won big in the raffle give-aways! These events are always about the people, and you just don’t meet nicer folks that those associated with cigars for some reason!
What a wonderful event that I would recommend highly next year if you are within a 3 or 4 hour drive. Gary is a fine gentleman and I appreciate him welcoming myself and my wife for the afternoon. It’s refreshing to see a retailer put on a “not for profit” event, and to have so many people there enjoying cigars and camaraderie. I’d love to see more manufacturers participate in the future as the event is for good causes and shows the cigar business in a positive light. The only downside was that the weather could have been a little nicer, it was overcast and under 70 until we drove off the premises, then the sun came out and it was nice! Hardly anyone’s fault. I managed to win about $4 on the ponies over the course of the day too!
In honor of the event, I’m going to have another quick give-away! I know, I JUST had one that ended this week, but we got a couple Rosie Napravnik Bobbleheads at the park for Racing Fan Appreciation Day and I thought I’d combine it with a beautiful Veritas Connecticut Salamone that I purchased from the Delaware based Veritas Cigar Co. at the event. So leave a comment to enter, and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday, September 25th.
That’s about it for now, until the next time,