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4/02/2013

From Tuesday February 26 to Saturday March 2, 2013, Cuba will once again become the meeting grounds for unconditional lovers of the world’s best cigars. This time up, the 15th edition of the festival will put two prestigious brands in the limelight: Montecristo and Partagas.

Habano lovers coming from over 70 nations, as well as boldface names from around the world, will have a ball among friends and traditional hedonists of Cuban tobacco, and they’ll be the first to puff on the new vitolas that Habanos S.A. will roll out this year.

The complement to the Habano Festival’s program will count on traditional functions and activities, such as the visits to the best tobacco plantations in Vuelta Abajo*, Pinar del Rio*, and to the historic habano factories. In the same breath, there’ll be lectures, blind tasting sessions, the famous master class on Cigar Hand Rolling, special pairings and the much-anticipated International Habanosommelier Contest.

The big move in this year’s edition will be the Tobacco & Gastronomy Cooking Show, featuring celebrated Croatian chefs Grgur Baksic, Zoran Simunic and Pantelija Pekic who will be preparing on-the-spot haute cuisine recipes in which Cuban tobacco is their main ingredient.

The International Habanos in Images Contest likens the pleasure of tobacco with the arts. This second edition will focus on photography and on the Habano as the great show star.

The Welcome Night, dedicated to Montecristo, will exceptionally take place in a one-and-only historic venue of the city of Havana: the Morro Castle Fortress that dominates the entrance of the bay.

During the course of the festival, an alliance between Habanos* P.D.O. and a benchmark denomination of origin with longstanding presence in the market –Rioja- will be forged. The previous selection of the participating wines in the grand finale will be held in Spain in the month of January.

On Thursday Feb. 28, the figure of the Tobacco Planters will be honored with a very special dinner, and for good reason because without their toilsome job it’ll be impossible to revel in the magnificent Habanos.

The Festival’s closing ceremony is scheduled for Saturday March 2. The Gala Night will feature top Cuban performers of all time, like Omara Portuondo, and will pay tribute to Partagas. During this function, the traditional auction of humidors for the benefit of Cuba’s public health system will unfold.

This time around, people will be able to get live feeds of all of the Habano Festival’s events through the social networks: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ Festival-Habano) and Twitter (twitter.com/FestivalHabano).

Both sites –currently running and already clicking zillions of hits from web surfers around the globe, either linked to Habanos o no- could follow up on up-to-the-minute news reports, photo galleries, videos and a whole lot more during and even after the Festival is over.

Registration for the upcoming Habano Festival was opened on January 17, 2013, this time around only through Habanos S.A.’s website, www.habanos.com.

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