Cigar Day returned to Havana last weekend

The Havana Cigar Day returned to the Havana Shade Tobacco Museum last weekend, marking the third year that this event has been held downtown. 

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Cigar Day began with opening remarks from Havana Town Manager Kendrah Wilkerson and Havana History and Heritage Society Co-Chair Bill Piotrowski. 

Then, a speaker session with Bobby Newman (a third generation owner of the JC Newman Cigar Company), Jeff Borysiewicz (owner of Corona Cigar Company), and Cristal Lastra with John Oliva (both of the Oliva Cigar Company) was held under the pavilion at the museum. 

During their presentation, the speakers discussed the making of fine cigars, both in modern terms, as well as the history of excellent cigars. 

Afterwards, at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m., the Planters Exchange presented a video presentation on the history of tobacco, from the words of local civic, business, educational, and agricultureal leaders. 

A highlight of the day was the 1 p.m. video presentation, “Growing Up In Shade Tobacco”; the video showcased the stories told by local families and workers on their experiences in the tobacco fields, production, and cigar industry. 

The day continued with a “Long Ash” contest, as well as a happy hour. Live music will be playing throughout the event by local band “Madison Street”. As if all the planned activities were not enough, throughout the day Master Cigar Roller Luis Gonzalez demonstrated his trade on the porch. 

For all who stopped to watch Gonzalez’ skill, there was a special treat of seeing how cigars are formed under a master craftsman’s hand. 

Additionally, tours of the museum and Planter’s Exchange were offered throughout the day. 

While the event has come and gone for this year, there is still plenty to explore at the museum! 

The Havana History & Heritage Society keeps the museum open over the weekends for locals and visitors alike to come and see the history of Havana, both through the shade tobacco industry, as well as through other relevant artifacts from Havana’s past. The museum is located at 204 Northwest 2nd Street in downtown Havana.

Ashley Hunter  – Gadsden County News Service 


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