Seattle Cigar Expo Rocks
by David "Doc" Diaz
Friday, August 26, 2011
This past weekend, even while the downtown was in the throes of extensive roadwork, Seattle played host to several large events. While some people were tuning in and turning on at the Hemp Festival, hundreds of cigar aficionados turned out for the inaugural Seattle Cigar Expo, held at Fisher Pavilion. The daylong event was blessed with perfect weather, a majestic venue under the famed "Space Needle," and a prestigious lineup of vendors including cigar, wine, spirits, beer, food and a bevy of others.
This was one classy event. The management team seemingly spared no expense to provide the finest cigar celebration imaginable. Keeping in mind that Seattle has some of the harshest laws against smoking in public, it was heartening to see such a huge turnout and it amply displayed the interest in premium handmade cigars by a significant portion of the public. The Expo provided both indoor and outdoor lounges and, while there was no smoking permitted indoors, the beautiful exterior grounds sported plush furniture for kicking back and relaxing with your favorite stogie and libation.
Attendees grooved to the music of Lary Barilleau and the Latin Jazz Collective, Conjunto Salsa, Vince Mira, and the Atomic Bombshells. The event even showed it's racy side with fine burlesque performances.
There were many types of vendors besides cigars. Exquisite foods were served alongside premier spirits, which included Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, Four Roses and Booker’s bourbon, fine scotches like Bowmore, The Balvenie, and Glenfiddich and premium Zaya rum.
There were local wines from Luna, Layer Cake and Goose Ridge and one of my favorites was the Total Disorder Porter from RAM Restaurant and Brewery.
But the real stars were the cigars and the purveyors of those products. A host of great brands included AJ Fernandez’ San Lotano, La Goria Cubana, Lou Rodriguez, Berger & Argenti, Camacho, Room 101 and El Primer Mundo, among others.
Below: Glynn Loope of Cigar Rights of America
Not only were there great cigars, but
there was a great outdoor venue to smoke. The event featured outdoor
lounges that were in heavy demand as attendees fired up one stogie
after another and relaxed in the shade and comfort of the Expo lounges.
The rolling grassy area stood in transcendent juxtaposition to the
towering Space Needle that hovered over the smoky haze.
Also on hand was the organization that is leading the fight against the draconian anti-tobacco movements and legislation. Cigar Rights of America (CRA) was a prime benefactor of the event. The CRA is a consumer-based, non-profit public advocacy organization that works at the local, state, and federal level of government to protect the freedoms of cigar enthusiasts. It is an organization that was founded on the principle of fighting for the freedom to enjoy cigars. Director of Sales, Brian Berman and Executive Director, Glynn Loope spoke eloquently about our need to preserve basic rights and freedoms under the constitution and called on everyone to stop overly oppressive legislation by expressing their concerns over new taxation and by voting for those who will preserve our rights to smoke.
Below: Even Doc got his photo taken
The Seattle Cigar Expo will likely be remembered as one of Seattle’s
great events, of any kind. It had all the features of a first-class
affair. I’m looking forward to next year and the next opportunity to
celebrate our freedom to smoke.
About the Author
David "Doc" Diaz is the publisher and the editor of the Stogie Fresh Cigar Publications. He has served as an educator, researcher and writer and has taught in the Health Education and Health Science field for over 30 years. He possesses an earned doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Doc is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT), having received this certification from the Tobacconist University and is a member and Ambassador of Cigar Rights of America (CRA)blog comments powered by Disqus