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From Feb. 27 thru March 2, 2012, Cuba will once again become the scene of choice for the largest international gathering dedicated to lovers of the world’s finest cigar: the habano.

According to Ana Lopez, marketing chief with Habanos S.A., this time around the event will pay tribute to two of habanos’ flagship brands: Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta.

Attendees, hailing from over sixty countries, will have the exclusive pleasure of puffing on the newest brands to be launched in the market by Habanos S.A. in 2012.

Likewise, participants will have a chance to dig out the roots and secrets of a centuries-old tradition in Cuba.

The Habano Festival’s program will stick to its bevy of traditional activities during this unforgettable weeklong celebration of the ultimate smoke, including visits to the finest tobacco plantations in Pinar del Rio’s Vuelta Abajo, visits to larger-than-life cigar factories, as well as a number of seminars, tasting and pairing sessions, the International Habanosommelier Contest, the master class on cigar rolling and the blindfolded tasting session of habanos.

Also new in this new edition, the Habanos S.A.’s high-ranking official explained that there’ll be an International Contest of Habanos in Images, targeting professional photographers, moviemakers and video producers who could somewhat reflect the culture of habanos in their works.

This contest, scheduled for every year from now on instead of every other year, will change its format in an effort to make room for photography.

The opening of the 14th Habano Festival will take place on Feb. 27, 2012. This time up, the welcome night will feature an exclusive presentation at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana.

In the same breath, participants will learn the nominees for the Habano of the Year awards and will enjoy a welcome cocktail dedicated to the Cohiba brand.

On Wednesday Feb. 29, a dinner to celebrate the 520th anniversary of the discovery of tobacco in Cuba by the Europeans will be held, featuring Cuban and Spanish chefs.

The Festival’s closing ceremony will unfold on Friday March 2 with a gala dinner in tribute to the Romeo y Julieta brand and the traditional auction of humidors whose funds will be earmarked for Cuba’s public healthcare sector.

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