For the first time in over 50 years, a J.C. Newman Cigar Co. float appeared in this year’s Gasparilla parade. “Cigars and Gasparilla have been essential parts of Tampa’s identity for more than 100 years,” said Drew Newman, fourth generation owner. “We wanted to bring them together by rolling José Gaspar cigars as well as being featured in the Gasparilla parade.” In the same spirit as their booth at the Premium Cigar Association trade show, the new float is a scale replica of the historic 112-year-old El Reloj factory. Those aboard included longtime J.C. Newman employees and 2022 Miss Tampa, Tori Leto.
In what may be another first, the parade’s 300,000 plus onlookers were able to see cigars being rolled in real time along the entire route. “We also believe that this may have been the first time that cigars have been hand rolled on a moving vehicle,” said Newman. “We hand rolled cigars on our float because we wanted to show all of the paradegoers the art and tradition of premium cigars.” For more information about this year’s José Gaspar Cigars release, including how to find out which Tampa shops were chosen to carry them, visit this piece.
Members of the original Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla – hosts of the YMKG Invasion & Parade of Pirates – Eric and Bobby Newman went all in on their pirate attire. “My hope is that our J.C. Newman cigar float can participate in lots of parades in the years ago, and perhaps event attend the Premium Cigar Association trade show in Las Vegas,” said Newman.
Have you experienced Gasparilla? Are you searching for the Gaspar cigars? Let everyone know in the comments below!