Today we continue coverage of Procigar 2023, the Dominican Cigar Festival. This event took place in Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic. Procigar 2023 was split between two cities: La Romana (February 19-21, 2023) and Santiago (February 21-24, 2023). Today we take a look at day four of the Santiago portion of Procigar 2023 – the final day of the festival. For further details on the festival, see our pre-game report.
There were two main events on Day Four. First was what was dubbed as a Field Day being held at the La Aurora farm. Second was the Gala Dinner Party which featured the Procigar 2023 Auction.
The Field Day is something that was introduced back in 2020 and this was the first year that I could attend. The location was at the La Aurora farm. The concept seemed to mimic something similar to the multivendor events that we are used to in the States. This included cigars, food, music, and interactive games and activities.
First up, the location was beautiful. La Aurora essentially had a large event tent set up with the backdrop of its farm behind it. This kind of reminded me of the afternoon lunches I had at the recent Puro Sabor 2023 festival. The difference I’ll get into was there was a lot more in the way of activities.
Each Procigar member had a booth/station setup. This provided the activity to interact with the Procigar member companies. There was also an opportunity to receive cigars from the company.
While the farm and factory tours of the past few days provided an excellent way to interact with manufacturers, the Field Day provided the unique opportunity to catch up with those manufacturers you didn’t get to visit. This is particularly useful for a media person. In my case, I used this opportunity to catch up with Jean-Michel Louis of De Los Reyes Cigars.
Field Day is quite relaxed. You can use the day as you want – such as talking with the manufacturers, participating in the games, and/or just enjoying a relaxing cigar. After interacting with the manufacturers, I opted to relax and enjoy a cigar. I did also observe the excellent activities.
First up was the Roll Your Own Cigar contest. Basically, it was a contest as described – namely you roll a cigar and it was judged by some of the Procigar masters, which included Henke Kelner.
Other activities included trivia, bingo, darts, and of course dominoes. There were also prizes for many of these activities.
The day also offered the opportunity for tours of the farm.
After the Field Day was over, we headed back to the hotels to rest for the final activity – the Gala Dinner Party and Charity Auction. Procigar should be commended on scheduling. I never felt rushed between activities, the downtime between activities provided a needed opportunity to rest.
The Gala Dinner Party and Charity Auction was held in Santiago at Centro Español, a private club founded in 1965. This was a great venue, and I also must commend Procigar again for providing more seating at the gala events.
Attendees received a special cigar box manufactured by Vrijdag Premium Printing.
The cigars in the box included:
- La Galeria Imperial Jade
- Don Carlos Destino Al Siglo
- Montecristo Epic Vintage 2007
- E.P. Carrillo Platinum Bash
- Davidoff Aniversario
- La Flor Dominicana La Nox
- La Aurora Hors D’Age
- Quesada Vega Magna
- General Silencio Special Edition
- Saga Short Tales Tomo VI
- PDR Flores y Rodriguez 10th Anniversary
We also had an opportunity to see some of the charity items prior to entering for dinner and the auction. (We covered a full list of the 25 auction lots in a previous article)
The auction was hosted by Michael Herklots of Ferio Tego and Manuel Quesada of Quesada Cigars. The auction raised a new Procigar record of US$ 440,000.00 for benefiting Voluntariado Jesús con los Niños (a non-profit organization for ill children), Sociedad San Vicente de Paúl (retirement home for low-income elders), and Procigar’s charitable initiative “A Home for My Family” (a housing program for disadvantaged yet deserving employees of the members’ companies) among others nonprofit organizations.
Watching Herklots in action is truly something amazing.
Finally, we should also mention that Procigar welcomed a twelfth member to the organization in Arnold André. We covered this in a previous article during our Procigar 2023 coverage.
With this evening, Procigar 2023 came to a close. It was a wonderful experience, and I’ll be back one with one more installment for a final recap.
Photo/Video Credits: Cigar Coop