IN YOUR CORNER: Taco Festival falls apart

In Your Corner

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s the taco-cross town, after a party set for Saturday is no more. Complaints have dogged a traveling “Taco and Margarita” festival across the country, and now the Oklahoma City Dodgers have canceled the Oklahoma event.

Thousands responded to the post online, advertising a festival with an “amazing variety” of tacos, scheduled to take place this Saturday at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

Jessica Furco attended the same festival in Buffalo, N.Y., shilling out extra money for VIP tickets.

“One of my friends says, ‘Does anyone wanna go with me?’ I said, ‘Absolutely,'” she explained. “I paid $97-something for both tickets.”

Once inside though, she says the festival was a mess.

“When we got there, there was no chicken left, there was just ground beef. No cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, nothing, no toppings,” said Jessica. “It takes a lot to disappoint me, but it was pretty frustrating.”

Photo goes with story

A similar scene reportedly played out in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Andrew Garibay, Tyler Herwig and Eric Zyvith attended the Pennsylvania event, and tell KFOR they were less than impressed.

“We walk in, there’s just one taco truck, a giant line,” said Eric.

“They were out of all the main meats,” added Andrew. “Out of steak, out of chicken.”

“It was probably the most depressing thing I’ve ever been a part of,” said Tyler.

The three friends shared their experience with news affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh.

Theirs is just one of a handful of negative news stories surrounding the taco festival across the country.

The event is run by AZ Food Festivals out of Arizona. According to state records, it’s run by a man named Adam Dobres.

Requests for comment from Dobres and AZ Food Festivals were not returned.

Their OKC event was off to a suspect start. Despite a promise of live wrestling, officials with the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission tell News 4 the live wrestling was cancelled by AZ Food just days before the event.

Now, the Oklahoma City Dodgers are pulling the plug, posting the following statement on their website:

“We have terminated the event contract with the third-party promoter who planned to host the Taco and Margarita Festival at the ballpark on Saturday, September 11. We agreed to book this event with the third-party promoter months ago. Since that time, additional information came to light regarding the ability of the third-party promoter to deliver on the event experience that was promised to ticket purchasers at similar events in other cities. What we have learned makes it clear that a similar event in Oklahoma City would not meet our expectations for hosting events in our ballpark. Unsurpassed customer service is the cornerstone of our business, and we are not confident that this third-party event would have delivered on those expectations. We will be issuing full refunds to all ticket holders for this event.”

OKLAHOMA CITY DODGERS

Dodgers General Manager Michael Byrnes says the decision came following less-than-anticipated ticket sales for the event, and after learning of issues with the festival in other cities.

“We became aware of challenges they had in other markets,” he explained.

As for refunds, Byrnes says the process has already begun, and ticket buyers need only wait.

“Depending on their banking institution, probably take somewhere from 5-7 days for the funds to hit their bank,” he said. “But it’s already taken care of.”

AZ Food Festivals is not done in OKC just yet. According to their website, a “Mimosa Crawl” is scheduled this Sunday at Pretty Please Social Room.

However, the crawl only has one venue listed as participating online. Pretty Please Social Club tells News 4 they’ve hosted a previous AZ Food Festival event, which was a success.

They also tell our team more than 200 tickets have been purchased.

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