Registration for next month’s Festival del Habano XXIII is finally open.

The week-long event that is scheduled to take place between Feb. 26-March 3 serves as the marquee event for the Cuban cigar world during which Habanos S.A. shows off most new cigars and hosts events like International Habanos World Challenge, a trade fair, tastings, and others. In addition, there will be celebrations honoring the anniversaries of Bolívar, Montecristo and Partagás.

Typically, Habanos S.A. opens registration for the event many months before, oftentimes in the preceding November. This year, the company has given attendees less than 40 days to register for the event.

This is the first time since 2020 that Habanos S.A. will host the event after the 2021 and 2022 Festivals were canceled due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last September, Habanos S.A. hosted the Cohiba 55th Anniversary Celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the popular brand. That event included a smaller gala celebration and a smaller humidor auction of the Cohiba 55 Aniversario Humidor which sold for €2.8 million ($2.39 million at the time.)

Those hoping to attend the celebration of Cuban cigars in Havana will have to pay more to attend the various events compared to previous years after Habanos S.A. announced price increases in December:

  • Welcome Evening — $500 (350 CUC in 2020) — Event dedicated to the Montecristo brand to be held at Club Havana
  • Visit to Plantations in Vuelta Abajo in the Pinar del Río region — $150 (85 CUC in 2020)
  • International Seminar — $450 ($400 CUC in 2020)
  • Mid-week Evening — $700 — Event celebrating the Bolívar brand and the La Casa del Habano franchise program to be held at the El Laguito Protocol Room
  • Visit to Habanos Factories — $100 (40 CUC in 2020)
  • Gala Evening — $1,250 (700 CUC in 2020) — Dedicated to the Partagás brand

In 2020, Cuba was still using the CUC, the Cuban Convertible Peso, for tourists. Officially, the CUC was set 1:1 with the U.S. dollar, though a surcharge was added meaning that $100 USD would typically net around 93 CUCs. Cuba phased out the CUC in late 2020.

As has been the case for previous years, the final night’s activities will include not only the presentation of the Habanos Awards but also the extremely popular auction of elaborate humidors with proceeds going to the Cuban Public Health System. In 2020, the seven humidors auctioned off went for a combined €4.27 million ($4.71 million at the time), and more than half of the amount spent for a Cohiba humidor, which sold for €2.4 million ($2.65 million at the time.) For those interested in participating in the humidor auction during the Gala Evening, registration for the auction will cost an additional $100.

Tickets can be purchased through the event’s website.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.