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PROCIGAR celebrates Dominican Republic’s cigar industry with its fifth annual Procigar Festival.

Santiago, Dominican Republic — PROCIGAR, the Association of the Dominican Cigar Manufacturers, is proud to announce its fifth annual Procigar Festival beginning Sunday, February 19th, 2012.

Sponsored by world-renowned Procigar members such as General Cigar, Matasa, Tabacalera de García, La Aurora, Tabadom, Corporación Cigar Export and Tabaquisa, the 2012 Procigar Festival welcomed over 300 guests from more than 20 countries.  Attendees included suppliers, retailers, consumers and industry associates who gathered to celebrate the Procigar Festival and to honor the Dominican Republic – the Cigar Country – as the number one exporter of premium cigars in the world.

The festival started on February 19th in the illustrious Casa de Campo, La Romana, where Tabacalera de García welcomed cigar lovers to the country and guided them through their facilities.  While in La Romana, guests had the option of participating in the fifth annual Procigar Golf Tournament at Dye Fore golf course, taking a catamaran ride to Palmilla & Saona Island, enjoying an eco-walk through a tropical forest or simply relaxing at Casa de Campo.  

On Tuesday, February 21st, guests headed to Santiago, the “heart of Cigar Country,” for three days, where they were able to partake in guided tours of Matasa, La Aurora, General Cigar, and Davidoff factories.  Attendees were also able to choose from other exciting activities while in Santiago, including brugal rum  factory tour, city tour, merengue lessons and a beach day, among others. New activities for this year were tours to Corporación Cigar Export, Inetab (tobacco processing company), water rafting, a tour to the Jimenoa waterfall, pairing rum with cigars at the Gran Almirante hotel and a Procigar Poker Tournament with proceeds to local Charity. 

A wonderful goodie bag has been given to all Festival guests with a retail price of approximately US$400.00, including the festival special edition cigar box, a beautiful ashtray, cigar accessories, a polo shirt, hats and drinks, among other interesting items. The traditional Dominican dinner was held at Los Jardines Cabrera Vidal on Wednesday, February 22nd where Corporación Cigar Export launched the Belicoso size of the Augusto Reyes Family Reserve Master Edition, Tabacalera de  García presented the Montecristo New York Connoisseur, Tabaquisa launched the Juan Clemente Charango cigar and La Aurora pre-launched La Aurora 107 Sumo Short Robusto. 

Since the Dominican Carnival is celebrated in February, the “Diablos Cojuelos” (folkloric carnival characters) welcomed all guests at this dinner. This was followed by the performance of Felle Vega - percussionist, composer, inventor and instrument designer native of Santiago de los Caballeros. The popular merengue dance contest took place and the winner received a special selection of 100 cigars of his choice from the members of Procigar. 

The following evening, Thursday February 23rd, the guests enjoyed the much anticipated white attire dinner atop Santiago’s Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración where Procigar celebrated its 20th Anniversary with fireworks and a champagne toast to the continued prosperity of the organization. During this occasion guests had the opportunity to smoke special cigars which have never been released before to the market. Tabadom prelaunched the Davidoff Limited Edition 2012, Matasa presented for the first time the Quesada Q D’Etat Molotov, General Cigar took the opportunity to offer a blend that is being developed to become a new brand and Tabacalera Fuente offered the FF Opus X – BBMF which is an exclusive edition cigar for special events. After this wonderful evening guests were invited to the great after party at the famous local club, Moma. 

The closing ceremony took place at the Centro Español, a private Spanish club in Santiago, where guests enjoyed a delicious dinner and an exciting show. This night we pay tribute to Monsignor Francisco Jose Arnaiz, a Spanish Jesuit who has exemplified all the virtues of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic for over 50 years. Also new passive members were presented such as Domitab, Inetab, José Méndez & Cía,, Tabacos Quisqueya, Instituto del Tabaco, Flor de los Reyes and Tabacos Villa González. A silent donation and an auction of special products were held benefiting the Voluntariado de Jesús con los Niños and the Hospicio San Vicente de Paúl, non-profit organizations dedicated to helping ill children and impoverished elders. This event culminated with a light, fire and drum show from the dominican artists Pablito Drums, Cristina Alba and DJ Poche. 

About the Dominican Cigar Industry

The Dominican Republic is the largest exporter of premium hand made cigars in the world.

We export more than 200 million cigars a year with a global market share of 44%. Procigar members represent over 85% of premium cigars manufactures in the Dominican Republic.

The tobacco and its manufactures are the main products of agricultural origin of our country, contributing with more than 370 million dollars to our economy. But the most important fact is the amount of employment that the tobacco industry generates; thousands of people live from it.  

There are more than 75,000 direct jobs with a large multiplier effect on the economy: 

  • 50,000 jobs in planting and harvesting,
  • 10,000 in the selection process, fermentation and packaging 
  • 12,000 in the production of cigars, not to mention the local suppliers of packaging materials, fertilizer, transport, etc. 

Francisco Bono, one famous Dominican politician and intellectual of the nineteenth century, said: "The tobacco is the true founding father of our country." 

The support to our industry is highly appreciated; it means the welfare of our country through the consumption of the product of most presence during five centuries of this nation. 

Procigar Festival Sponsors are:

PLATINUM – Cigar Rings, Xikar, Vrijdag Premium Printing, Instituto del Tabaco de la República Dominicana, Grand Island Group. 

ORO – Casa de Campo, Cerveza Presidente, Ron Brugal, Hodelpa Gran Almirante Hotel & Casino, Corporación Zona Franca Industrial Santiago, American Airlines, Sardell Imports, Inc, Banco Popular, Ayuntamiento del Municipio de Santiago, ASP Enterprises, Durhfort Holding. 

PLATA – Manny Iriarte, Karoma Estate Coffee, Fertilizantes Químicos Dominicanos (Ferquido), Consejo Nacional de Zonas Francas de Exportación, Fersán, Bacardi Dominicana en nombre de su producto Dewar’s 12 años, Mane Group Tobacco Flavors, The Guayabera Lady, International Packaging. 

BRONZE – Casa Colonial Resort, Swedish Match, Inetab, Camp David Ranch, Aduanas, El Catador, Golf Destinaire-Callaway, Aduanas, BM Eventos, Jose Mendez & Cia, Tabacos Quisqueya, TVG, SRL, Casino Cirsa, Flor de los Reyes, Moma, Refrescos Nacionales, CEIRD