Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cigarfest 2013 - A reflection

Cigarfest2013 -- a Hugh success!

It's been a couple of weeks now since I experienced Cigarfest 2013. Now as I reflect back on that time, I didn't have extraordinary expectations when I went but extraordinary things happened while I was there.  I initially thought everyone would just smoke a bunch of cigars to get rid of any pent up desire to "light em up".  However, this Fest was so much more than that.

Although all enjoyed a variety of well-crafted premium cigars, I came away from Cigarfest 2013 with a great appreciation of the enormous span of the people who enjoy a cigar and their reason to indulge.  Everyone I spoke with was deeply concerned about the direction of our great nation: too much government, too much regulation in the name of protecting us, and spending too much money without understanding the consequence of rapid spending habits.
These Americans were also concerned that we are in a place where individual responsibility has been supplanted with government regulation. It is like we are not smart enough to make our own decisions, only our elected (and appointed) officials know enough to tell us what to do and how to act.  Cigarfest folks want to just smoke a cigar in peace, without angst, and without everyone telling them where and when they can and cannot smoke.  It is not that cigar smokers are not sensitive to the fact that some do not like cigar smoke, it is just that accross the country more and more restrictive rules are in place because the non-cigar smoker might be offended. Don't cigar smokers also have rights? If you don't like cigar smoke then stay away from where people smoke cigars -- that is the sentiment expressed by those I had the privledge to talk with. Cigar smokers may have to become the next prohibition! Surely, we have room in our country for both groups. After, cigars are not cigarettes.

I was impressed with the camaraderie and enthusiasm displayed by all in attendance.  People were polite, civil, and genuine. Time and time again, people demostrated great respect and difference to each other. Didn't seem to matter where you were from, what you did to make a living, or any other trivial things we use to compare ourselves. It only mattered what your favorite cigar was and what you thought about the new lines that have been released.

At the end of the day, Cigarfest 2013 was well-organized, well-attended and well-loved by those who came. I am sincerely looking forward to cigar Fest 2014. Thank you Cigar International for putting on such a great show!


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