HAVANA, June 23rd It will be the first time Cuba hosts an in-person festival since 2020 when Habanos S.A. hosted the Festival del Habano XXII right before the world shut down due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. While never formally announced, Cuba planned on hosting the Festival del Habano XXIII earlier this year, but ultimately canceled the event due to the pandemic.
Habanos S.A. confirmed the 2023 event was scheduled to begin on the last Monday of February but declined to provide further details of what might be planned during the event.
Historically, attendees have been able to attend educational seminars, visit Cuban cigar factories and tobacco farms, see and purchase products at a trade show, learn how to roll cigars in a class taught by a working cigar roller and participate in the International Habanos World Challenge contest.
More importantly, the Festival del Habano serves as the marquee event for the Cuban cigar world as most of Habanos S.A.’s distributors attend the event along with some of the more prominent Cuban cigar retailers as well as consumers and media.
Beyond the formal list of events, many private parties—both formal and informal—are hosted along with countless meetings, including with some of Habanos S.A.’s suppliers and other partners.
In addition, there are usually a number of formal dinners dedicated to specific cigars or releases as well as the final night’s activities which includes an extremely popular auction of elaborate humidors. In 2020, the seven humidors auctioned off went for a combined €4.27 million ($4.71 million at the time), more than half of it for a Cohiba humidor, which sold for €2.4 million ($2.65 million at the time.)
Habanos S.A. has scheduled a special event in Havana on Sept. 9, 2021 which will be dedicated to the 55th anniversary of Cohiba. Details remain sparse, but it’s expected to be a formal event with an auction.