PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Some people said a Mac and Cheese Festival in Peoria on Saturday did not live up to its promises Saturday.
Organizers from Pastapalooza hosting a two-day event at Crusen’s on Farmington Road. On Saturday, many people from around the country came for the mac and cheese portion of the event.
One of the people who attended the event, Rusty Overturf, said the event was one of the worst events he ever went to.
“Very unorganized, they promised that there would be a lot of vendors, there were only four vendors, it was supposed to go on til five o’clock, and they are already out of food,” Overturf said.
Several people who bought tickets said they feel scammed. They said around four vendors showed up, with small samples that quickly ran out. They also said they were told their tickets included things like free shirts and drinks and they didn’t get any of that.
The event organizer, who did not wish to be named, said multiple vendors pulled out ahead of the event.
“A lot of vendors backed out, and I can’t blame them, people are short-staffed,” The organizer said. “They had to pick between their brick and mortar store or doing this event.”
The event organizer said he lost sleep over the event, and was upset when he heard people were calling the event a scam even before it started.
“When you are trying to put on something for Peoria when there is nothing else going on, and no one else was willing to do it, and people are calling you a scam artist, it hurts,” the organizer said.
The Owner of Crusen’s called the Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputies to the event over concerns of there being a scam.
UPDATE: An event organizer named John tells WMBD warm weather caused the festival to move indoors, creating long lines and said the team did the best they could under the circumstances. He also said some of the vendors who backed out said they had to due to staffing shortages.
John said some vendors are ready to go tomorrow, but was unsure if the Sunday event would happen. He also said people can request a refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.