A celebratory cigar is a usually reserved for the closing of a lucrative business deal, winning an NBA championship, or celebrating a major life milestone. Coming this Labor Day weekend, The Black Smoke Miami cigar festival seeks to celebrate the Black cigar smokers of South Florida and beyond. The five-day festival will provide cigar lovers with entertainment and themed parties in different venues to relax during the holiday weekend and puff away in style.
The festival begins on Aug. 28 with a meet and greet in Weston and runs until Sunday, Sept. 1 with a poolside brunch at the Miami Lakes Hotel & Golf. The Backyard Boogie held Aug. 31 at Hialeah Park is the festival’s signature event featuring food trucks, live entertainment, and different cigar vendors.
Going on its third year, the Black Smoke Miami is a festival targeted to Black cigar smokers and one of the few cigar festivals in South Florida, said owner and event producer Jason Ferguson.
“Over the past 10 years, the Black community has been the fastest-growing consumer base in the cigar industry,” Ferguson said. “We set out to create a festival that showcases and sheds light into this market.”
Most cigar festivals are only one day and do not make it to South Florida, Ferguson said. Thus, he set out to create a local event that brings cigar smokers throughout the country together for more than one day.
With its five-day duration, Black Smoke Miami allows cigar aficionados to congregate to taste cigars in relaxed, posh settings.
With its grown and sexy vibe, the festival caters to mature cigar smokers and those who want to get acquainted with a premium cigar experience.
The festival features premium cigars made with natural leaves and proper fermentation and aging processes, Ferguson said.
“With premium cigars, there are no additives, there are no fillers, there are no chemicals at all; it is all-natural,” he said. “The tobacco goes from the farm to the barns, to the aging room, to the rolling tables; that’s it.”
For those new to smoking cigars, Ferguson recommends to start with a light flavor and experimenting with the “retro-haling” smoking technique before moving on to bolder tasting cigars. With cigars, as opposed to cigarettes and tobacco products, users need not inhale, but rather “taste” the tobacco leaves before exhaling.
Usually, cigar aficionados enjoy pairing their smokes with a brown liquor such as whiskey, bourbon or rum. “The liquor balances the flavor and brings the profile of the cigar out,” Ferguson said.
But most importantly, the cigar experience cannot be rushed, but rather enjoyed.
“You want to take it slow and enjoy the flavor,” Ferguson said. “You want to be in a relaxed, sit back and enjoy.”
Some 3,500 attendees are expected to come to the festival this year. Single-day passes start at $50 with bundle and VIP packages available. Individual cigars range from $8 to $15.
For more information, visit Blacksmokemiami.com