Whether you call it Cigar City or the Cigar Capital of the World, Ybor City in Tampa, Florida hosted the annual Cigar Heritage Festival on Saturday. Although thousands attended to celebrate cigar culture, the main attraction was the rolling of the biggest cigar in recorded history.
A core team of about 14 rollers was supervised by Wallace Reyes of the Gonzalez Habano Cigar Factory in Tampa to work on breaking the previous cigar record of 67 feet. After 75 hours of rolling and gluing, this monstrosity of a cigar wound up measuring 101 feet long with a 61 ring gauge.
Cigar experts were on hand "confirming that this was in fact a smokable cigar," said Vienna LoCicero Santisteban, director of public relations for Cigar City Magazine, a local, small press publication of Ybor City that sponsored the event. "I pulled my aunt out from the crowd and told her 'put your hand on the cigar, become part of history.' I pulled a lot of friends and family from the crowd to touch it."
The Guiness Book of World Records was not present for the event as had been originally planned, but according to Santisteban, enough notaries were there to validate the feat. In addition to photos, ten hours of video tape was submitted to Guinness.
The 53-pound cigar is to be cut into six-inch sections. Each segment will be framed in a shadow box and will sport a band designed by Cigar City Magazine. A reproduction of the Guinness Book of World Records certificate of authenticity will also be included. Each cigar will cost $100, with the proceeds benefiting The Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Ybor City Museum Society.