June 8, 2012 (Nashville, TN) — CAO Cigars announces that it will serve as an official partner at the blockbuster CMA Music Festival on June 7-10, 2012 in Nashville.

CAO will have a big presence at the event, with two separate locations including a luxury cigar lounge boasting VIP views of the Riverfront daytime stage. Featuring a personal appearance and photo ops with country music’s celebrity emcee/CMA Music Festival fan favorite/premium cigar connoisseur Two Foot Fred, the swanky cigar lounge will also feature meet and greets with CAO Brand Ambassador Rick Rodriguez who will be on hand to share details about the upcoming new collection of CAO Cigars, aptly called “Concert.”

“CAO was originally launched in Nashville, so music is in the brand’s DNA,” commented Alan Willner, vice president of marketing for General Cigar, parent company of CAO Cigars. “Since the music occasion is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a premium, hand crafted cigar, we are happy to be part of the CMA Music Festival. It’s the perfect venue for us to continue CAO’s ties with music. We look forward to welcoming country music fans to our relaxing lounge environment and to sharing the premium cigar lifestyle with them.”

Nashville’s own UPtown’s Smoke Shop will work in partnership with CAO, selling an array of handmade CAO cigars to consumers of legal smoking age who visit either of the two CAO areas during the CMA Music Festival. Visitors to the CAO lounge will also have a chance to enter the CAO Photo Booth to take away souvenir photo strips from the event. For the technically savvy country music fan, photos can be uploaded onsite to Facebook or Twitter.

Two Foot Fred said, “UPtown’s is my favorite cigar shop, hands down. It’s my pleasure to make the appearance for them at the CAO booth as my way of thanking them for the great customer service they’ve shown me over the years.”

CAO will post live updates leading up to, during and just after the CMA Music Festival. Visit the brand’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for up-to-the minute details, celebrity sightings and more.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.