It was a typical Sunday morning in February. I was still in bed and Kevin was checking his email and Facebook notifications. He walked back into the room and said "Honey, we were invited to a pipe show in Milan in April." I immediately started laughing because we always joke about being invited to events on Facebook half way around the world that of course we are not going to attend. When he said, "No, I am serious." I immediately stopped laughing. He then explained about Luca’s Pipe Show, which he calls The Party, and then said that Luca Di Piazza specifically private messaged him on Facebook and asked Kevin to come. Kevin said that it probably wasn’t in the budget but I could check it out anyway.
Okay, okay, purists will argue that it’s technically in New Joisey. All the same, it retains the name of The New York Pipe Show, and though small—particularly in comparison to the big shows like Chicago, Vegas, or Kansas City—it’s a charmingly intimate affair that we in the northeast look forward to every year. For one, it means that spring has finally arrived (albeit right after a major snowstorm usually). Its small size also means that it’s not as overwhelming as the big shows—you can take it all in and appreciate it in a couple hours, take your time browsing, and really enjoy having a low-key chat with old pipe buddies.
The Kaywoodie Christmas Dinner and Northeast Regional Slow Smoke Championship was the highlight of my holidays this year. There aren’t enough pipe parties these days, and this combination pipe show-swap-sale, gabfest, dinner, and competitive event is the perfect mid-winter reunion for old pipe buddies and new. Since I was unable to attend the Chicago show or any others this year due to a hectic schedule, Kaywoodie was the one place I’d be seeing many of these folks in 2014. Amid all the stress and obligation of the holidays, this was sure to be the anodyne I needed.
Pipe makers had discussed it for years; a world class pipe show again in Nashville.
Almost two decades have passed since Uptown’s Smoke Shop sponsored a large pipe show in Nashville. During the interim, the Nashville area became a hub of artisan pipe making with no less than a dozen or more well known pipe makers – some of them among the most successful and talented in the business.
As Nashville is already a major destination city in the U.S., it was a no-brainer to mount a great new pipe show. And great and new it was, thanks to Grant Batson, Chris Merkle and Drew Estate.
There are many great pipe shows in America these days — all put on by volunteers. As I am writing this in Los Angeles, my heart is in Columbus, Ohio. I wish so much I could be at the pipe show being sponsored by the North American Society of Pipe Collectors, which means it is being sponsored by a handful of enthusiastic pipe lovers who live in Columbus and are willing to work night and day to put on a great show.
There is so much work involved in organizing and running a good pipe show, and the only reason anyone would put in all those hours for free is out of a labor of love.
I think only one word can sum up the 15th Annual Kansas City Pipe Show that happened June 21st through 22nd 2014 and that word is "awesomesauce."
You see this was my first ever pipe show to attend and I had no idea what to expect…except from the talk about how much fun people had at Chicago or similar shows.
Another forum member, Msandoval858 and I, chose to drive 10 hours from Austin, TX to Kansas City, MO for the show. From the moment we arrived the schedule was jam-packed with things going on, people to see and talk to, and food to try. I could hardly keep up, but I took a few pictures, and I’ll try to fill you in on how it went.
CHICAGO—Well, the 2014 Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show is in the history books. There are some left over stories that are just begging to be told. So, here we go:
If you have never been to the show, you owe it to yourself and to your love of pipes and tobacco to put it on the bucket list. You won’t be sorry.
One of the neatest stories at the show was Odalys Gonzales of The Gonzalez Family Cigars. Odalys, 42, is from Cuba and has been in Hialeah, Fla., for about 15 years hand-rolling cigars.
The Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show recently completed it’s 18th run. It was my 5th year in a row attending, the most fun I’ve had there, and largest crowd I’ve ever seen at the show. (I believe they had record attendance.) The show is commonly referred to simply as "The Chicago Pipe Show", since attendees from all over the world fly into Chicago O’Hare International, or Chicago Midway airport to get there. Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles IL, where the show is held, is about a 45 - 60 minute drive southwest of the airport. Limo or taxi rides can be had for around $100 each way, or you can rent a car like I do, if you want the chance for a little more freedom to roam outside of the resort.
CHICAGO—The spectacular 18th Annual Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show is in the history books, but fun for the pipe smoker is just beginning. After five-point-two days at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., frazzled sleep-deprived vendors and bedraggled retailers, packed it in and headed home. The news is this: If you are looking for innovation, new products, some exciting boutique and small batch blends, 2014 is your year.
Most of the blenders and pipe manufacturers at the Chicago show who are major sponsors of PipesMagazine.com all reported that new products either are in the starting gate ready to be released or are in the works for the future.
CHICAGO—First, you have to realize that you have not died and gone to pipe heaven, and that this experience is real and there are pipes and tobaccos as far as the eye can see. You can actually touch them, pick them up, and grab some free tobacco samples. And that is only one of the more than 300 tables lined with rows of pipes of every shape and design. It is pipes and tobacco mecca.
I’m talking about the 18th Annual Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show held in the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill.