Procigar 2024 La Romana

Welcome to our 2024 edition of the Procigar Festival, coming to you from La Romana in the Dominican Republic. The festival kicked off on Sunday, February 18, 2024. Procigar is an organization of cigar manufacturers based in the Dominican Republic. Each year, the organization puts on a festival celebrating the culture of the Dominican Republic and, in particular, premium handmade cigars.

La Romana is a city located in the southeast portion of the Dominican Republic. This region is known for some of the best resorts in the world. Casa de Campo is one of those resorts, and it will host the festival’s first three days. Casa de Campo has hosted many functions for the cigar industry, including for the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) and many sales meetings. It’s a destination for the cigar industry because it is smoker-friendly compared to many resorts.

Casa de Campo is a big resort, and it’s known for its golf. In fact, each guest room gets its own golf cart to go around the resort. While I have been to Casa de Campo before, this was my first time attending the La Romana portion of a Procigar festival.

Most of the Dominican cigar industry is located in Santiago de los Caballeros, a city in the north-central part of the Dominican Republic. There is cigar manufacturing in other parts of the country, including La Romana. La Romana is home to one of the most extensive factory operations in the world, Tabacalera de Garcia. On Day Three, Procigar will be touring that factory, and we will have more on that.

Day One of Procigar is a pretty laid back day. It’s the day attendees get their registration packs, followed by a welcome reception in the evening. The welcome packs include swag and, of course, cigars. Plenty of cigars are distributed throughout the whole week at the festival, but there was a starter pack to get going.

Given the festival’s opening day is in La Romana, it made sense for the welcome reception to be hosted by Tabacalera de Garcia. Members of the famed “Grupo de Maestros” team based out of La Romana were present. It was my first opportunity to meet Javier Elmudesi, Manager of Tabacalera de Garcia, and Pedro Ventura, Product Development Manager.

Most of the cigars available for the evening came from Tabacalera de Garcia. A cigar roller was on hand who was rolling VegaFina 1998 cigars.

Photo Courtesy of Jay Davis, used by Cigar Coop

Of course, there was food and music. I find it humorous that the cigar industry likes to say cigars bring people together; then they blast the music up at events so you cannot have a conversation. The good news is the music in this case wasn’t overly loud and made conversations possible.

Video Courtesy of Jay Davis

While this is my first time attending the La Romana portion of Procigar, I had heard it was much less attended than Santiago. This was indeed the case, judging from the opening reception. While I didn’t count attendees, I would estimate there were about 75 people. Part of that is due to the costs and extra logistics (two one-way flights because Santiago and La Romana are far apart) for many international attendees of the festival. At the same time, I really enjoyed the feel of this opening reception. It was smaller, but it was intimate. At the same time, I felt it didn’t have the cliquish vibe that some of the larger gala dinners have. To me, this was a total win and a great way to kick off Procigar 2024.

For full Procigar 2024  coverage, see our Procigar 2024 Coverage Hub

Photo/Video Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted