Tampa Bay Honors Cigar Past
Tampa Bay remembered its tobacco roots this past weekend during the annual Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival. The smoky street fair featured demonstrations of cigar rolling, a taste of Tampa's unique mix of Cuban and Italian food, demonstrations of Sicilian wine making and plenty of cigars. The streets were lined with Ybor City's many cigar retailers offering their smokes, plus several area cigar companies.
Tampa is the home of the J.C. Newman Cigar Co., the U.S. headquarters of Arturo Fuente Cigars, and the Oliva Tobacco Co., among others. In the past, it was the cigar capital of America.
Ybor was founded in the late 1800s by cigarmakers Vicente Martinez-Ybor and Ignacio Haya, who were looking for a new place to make cigars. Ybor soon replaced Key West, Florida, as the center of U.S. cigar production.
Millions of cigars were produced by hand in Tampa's myriad factories, many of them tremendously large buildings.
Source: Cigar Aficionado