Cigars, craft beer, a little corn-hole, a great charity, and many awesome brothers and sisters of the leaf. What is there not to love? Well, the first ever Rudy’s Big Smoke was held this past Saturday in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and to say it was a good time is an understatement.
The setup was quite a sight. The entire street was shut down and cordoned off for the event. Tons of cigar reps were lined up along an endless table with deals out the wazoo, and Quaff ON! Brewing Company had a truck with taps out the side – a seriously impressive setup. Rudy’s even had a good old-fashioned wiener cart with some fine beef hotdogs for the taking.
Cigars for Warriors had a table setup with all sorts of great giveaways on top of empty humidors ready for cigar donations for our men and women in uniform. Storm Boen even made the trip up from Texas to support the cause. My wife and I posted up under our canopy representing iROBUSTO with a giveaway of our own – ten cigars and a travel humidor.
Folks started pouring in right at noon. The sun was high in the sky scorching down on us. It was nearly 100 degrees all day – nothing a bunch of beer and a mild breeze couldn’t fix. Well, maybe a little rum from Riste Ristevski, owner of Jas Sum Kral cigars, helped a bit, too.
We greeted the attendees as they made their way along the street buying up smokes, entering the giveaways, and donating to CFW. Full-priced tickets were $75 and included almost a dozen cigars and two drink tickets. Beer-only tickets were sold for $20. For the price, this event was unbeatable. An hour or two in, all the tables were full, and the chatter was a-buzz.
Cigar after cigar, we puffed the day away. Kegs were emptied. Corn-hole champions were crowned. Friendships were made. A live band showed up about halfway through the event and played some killer tunes. At one point, I made my way around soliciting donations for a push-up throw-down in support of CFW. Rudy himself even pumped out a bunch of push-ups.
As the night dwindled, we heard many rave reviews about the day. The tables came down, the beer truck took off, and the last ashes fell. At 11 p.m., the Big Smoke wrapped up. Over $600 and 277 cigars were collected for CFW, and a genuinely great time was had. It was a fantastic event, and I can’t wait for next year!
A huge thanks goes out to Rudy’s Shop for hosting such an awesome event, Storm Boen for making the trip to Fort Wayne to represent CFW, and all the great brothers and sisters of the leaf who showed up for the party!