The two CSU student co-owners of local hookah lounge Narghile Nights will look to break down negative hookah stereotypes, have fun and spread hookah awareness with the third-annual “Smokefest,” an event in which all proceeds will benefit CSU’s Cans Around the Oval food donation effort.
Being held for the first time at the Narghile Nights hookah lounge in Fort Collins, the Smokefest from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday will include free hookah smoking, music from DJ D-Quay from the local bar Drunken Monkey, a raffle and a silent auction.
The auction will include two $50 gift certificates to Total Eclipse Body Arts Studio, a hookah and a package of gift certificates from local businesses including Chipotle, Which Which and Road 34, said Narghile owner Aria Kosravi. All the money will go to Cans Around the Oval.
“It’s going to be bigger and better than ever before,” Khosravi said. “We thought we’d put a twist on it.”
Wade Meyer, the event coordinator for the Smokefest, said, “We pretty much wanted to make it more charitable than just hanging out.”
“We’ve always wanted to do some sort of event like this. I feel more a part of CSU by contributing back to CSU,” Khosravi added.
Khosravi said he encourages students to bring monetary or can donations to the event and that they must have identification with them.
“Bring a can, if you can,” Khosravi said. “I would like to see a good turnout and get some donations from people to make sure our contribution is worthwhile.”
He added that students are welcome to bring their own hookahs. Meyer said that in the past, the event was held on campus and that he is excited for it to be held at Narghile Nights.
“I think it’s way better than having it on campus,” Meyer said. “It gives [the event] a little more credibility.”
Khosravi said the focus of the night will be having fun and spreading understanding about hookah.
He said it will be a good way for students new to hookah to learn about the leisure activity and for hookah veterans to swap stories and discuss various aspects of smoking hookah, including flavors.
The event, Khosravi said, will also provide a forum to discuss the cultural background of hookah smoking.
He said hookah smoking is an ancient Middle Eastern cultural practice, and the material smoked is traditionally made of fresh fruit, molasses and tobacco. “It’s always been centered around just relaxing, like how some countries drink tea,” Khosravi said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh my gosh I need the hookah, I’m addicted to hookah.'”
Khosravi said he is looking forward to the event, that he hopes everyone has an enjoyable experience and that attendants may even learn a thing or two.
“We want to make sure everyone is having fun. Hookah has been under so much controversy lately, especially in Fort Collins,” Khosravi said.
“Hopefully this is a way to show a better side of it and a more fun side of it.”
Staff writer Jim Sojourner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.