For the second straight year, Espinosa Premium Cigars has decided to cancel the in-person version of its La Zona Palooza event and will once again move it to an online format. The decision comes as cases in the COVID-19 pandemic surge in Florida.

“We truly agonized over this decision; we know this is disappointing, but we are fully committed to the safety of our staff, attendees, and local community,” said Erik Espinosa via a press release. “We truly believe, that if only one single person was affected by attending La Zona Palooza, it would be one person too many. We cannot in good conscience hold this event.”

Much like it did in 2020, the company will be shifting to a virtual event, with details expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The event launched several years ago as a gathering of the company’s fans and friends, and is held at Espinosa’s offices in Hialeah, Fla., a suburb of Miami, as well as in the surrounding areas of south Florida. It is a weekend of camaraderie, some cigar education, and plenty of cigars. In recent years, the company has used the event to soft launch some of its new releases, including the re-released 601 Black and the 601 La Bomba The Wick.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.