The 44th Annual Eclipse Awards recognized horses and individuals who achieved great things in 2014. Recipients are chosen by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. The night before, a party was thrown to benefit Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare. The it featured an open bar, live music, gourmet food, and an exclusive special-edition blend from Herrera Cigars.
Hosted by Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman, La Verbena was held at Centennial Park in Ybor City. About 5,000 cigar lovers and their families enjoyed music from radio personality Franco Silva, food, and cigar rolling demonstrations. Children participated in games such as felt Cuban sandwich assembly and dominoes.
The festival also marked the launch of Tampa Mafia Magazine and included exhibits like “Ybor History” (which details the birth of Ybor City’s cigar industry) and “100 Years of Baseball in Tampa.”
Miami Cigar, Creativas PR, and 400 guests (including Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6, TV personality and spokesperson Adriana Catano, and Telemundo 51 personality Mariana Rodriguez) gathered at the beautiful Grove Isle Hotel & Spa for Creativas’ annual Christmas party, which Miami Cigar co-hosted for the first time this year. Each guest brought a new, unwrapped toy for Neat Stuff, a charity that helps children in dis tress. They also got a complimentary cigar — choosing from Nestor Miranda Collection, La Aurora Untamed, Propaganda by Viva Republica, and Tatiana — and Z afra Rum cocktails.
Havana Group Cigars’ party drew 75 guests to celebrate their 9th anniversary with food, drinks, and music. Lucky raffle winners received My Father Cigars, Aging Room, and Flor de Gonzalez boxes, as well as swag from companies like Oliva and Espinosa. In addition to the Cubanstyle roast pork and fixins, guests were treated to samples of Dos Maderas Aged Rum as well as Templeton Rye Prohibition Era Whiskey.
Joey DiSalvo hosted his bi-annual Taste The Good Life charity gala at DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant, a registered National Historic Landmark. The event, which raises money for a different charity each time, netted $25,000 for the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program. Three hundred guests enjoyed a full open bar, delicious food like spinach- and feta-stuffed chicken, oysters, and grilled eggplant. Of course, there were also cigars hand selected by Joey D, raffles, and auctions. The evening’s entertainment included music by the soulful Antoinette Montague and John Mulkerin of The Groove Doctors.
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Perhaps better known as the home base for the La Patrona brand, Miura Cigars hosted one helluva party right out in front of its cozy suburban lounge. Hirochi Robaina, grandson of Cuban tobacco legend Alejandro Robaina, showed up in his signature blazer and cowboy hat to promote the launch of HR, his new line of cigars made at Cubanacán’s Estelí, Nicaragua factory. The launch represents a departure for the Robaina family, which has, of course, made its name in Cuban tobacco. Cigars, Zafra rum, and a whole roasted pig kept the festivities going well into the night.
With over 300 guests in attendance, the 3rd Annual Smoke This! event raised $2,100 in donations for Samantha’s Purpose, an organization that provides financial assistance to the parents of children with special needs. Guests were treated to Macallan Scotch, Ron Abuelo rum, food from local vendors like Sushi Sake and Pastel Gourmet, and music by a live Cuban band. In addition, attendees were given two smokes per cigar sponsor (about 40 cigars in total), a lighter, a cutter, and a travel humidor. Raffle winners went home with prizes from David Yurman jewelry to signed boxes of cigars.
In true Camacho fashion, the Torch It Up Road Tour (which included 100 events that spanned over 30,000 miles and 7,000 fans) went out with a bang as bold as their cigars. Hundreds of cigar lovers partied at Harley-Davidson Biketown. At the Camacho tour’s final stop, fans also saw a kickass live performance by Saliva. Board of the Bold members Rob Weiss (BG Meyer) and Matt Booth (Room101) kicked off the festivities with shots of Cleveland Whiskey.
The lucky winner of Camacho’s Torch It Up Tour grand prize — a custom 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Bob built by Soul Custom — was announced in the Tour’s last hurrah as well. Congratulations to Leon Woods!