A summer treat that lots of Chicagoans were looking forward to this weekend is apparently a hoax.
It's called "Taco Fest Chicago" and somebody made a lot of money off of it. Tickets have been selling online for up to $80 apiece, but it's looks like the whole thing was a scam.
“I love tacos, my wife loves em, my sister in law loves tacos, and I figured for my birthday, it could be a great event, to go do something for my birthday,” said Jermaine Pigee.
Pigee's birthday is this Friday. He thought the perfect celebration would be a visit to Taco Fest Chicago. He'd seen the invite on Facebook. The website said it would run from noon to 5 p.m. -- although the location was a little vague.
“All they told me it was off of Randolph Street. And Randolph Street, as you know, stretches all across Chicago,” Pigee said.
The website promised live music and high-speed daredevil Chihuahua racing. Pigee ordered three tickets for $75, but they never arrived. When he Googled the name of the organizer, Fanoomies Entertainment, he learned that they'd also been behind a Sushi Fest in Sacramento, which was bogus. Chicago officials say there's no permit for a taco fest this weekend, even though Facebook shows more than a thousand people planned on attending.
The Better Business Bureau says do your research before grabbing up tickets to food festivals.
“These festivals, because they are sometimes hard to get to, there's so many of them, you may want to be careful, if somebody is touting that they are part of a festival. do some research. just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true and accurate,” said Steve Bernas of the BBB.
Pigee's bank reimbursed him his $75, and now he's making other plans for his birthday.
“Maybe visit a Mexican restaurant or something, and just call it a weekend,” Pigee said.
FOX 32 sent emails to Fanoomies Entertainment and the people that Pigee had heard from regarding his questions. We never received a response.
Taco Fest Chicago should not be confused with several other taco festivals taking place around the Chicago area this summer.
The annual Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest will take place on September 15 and 16 at 3500 N. Southport Ave. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Also, North Shore Taco Fest in Highwood will take place on July 19 through July 22 at the Highwood Metra Station.