FRESNO, California — It was supposed to be a fun Saturday at Woodward Park. The 5K Happy Hour Run even promised a free alcoholic drink of your choice when you finished.
However, the event didn’t happen. Earlier this week, an email went out to everyone who signed up saying the event was postponed “due to an extremely low sign-up rate.”
The abrupt change in plans has many — including the city of Fresno — think something fishy is going on.
The Fresno 5K Happy Hour Run wasn’t going to be Gabriela Hernandez’s first rodeo.
“We’ve done 5K’s before at the park and there’s usually long lines,” Hernandez, who lives in Visalia, said. “We came a little bit earlier to avoid the long line situation.”
But, when she got to Woodward Park, there were no long lines. There was no hint of a happy hour. There was just a whole lot of nothing.
“We drove practically throughout the whole park and we didn’t see anything. There’s nothing but personal parties going on,” Hernandez said.
Like many in the area, Hernandez found out about this event on Facebook. The cost to run was $20 a person. The event’s video showcased a fun run with a free beer, wine or margarita waiting for each runner at the finish line.
The Facebook event had no mention of any plans to postpone during the event’s hours Saturday — saying it was still on. The event’s official website said location, prices and dates could change at any time.
Also, under any circumstances, no refunds will ever be issued.
Mark Standriff, a Fresno city spokesman, said the city did not get permit applications for this event. Also, he adds Alcoholic Beverage Control didn’t get asked for liquor permits either.
In a statement, Standriff said, “We’re checking with other cities listed on the event website to see if they’ve experienced anything similar.”
Hernandez said this is a lesson to herself to be more careful before she forks over some money.
“Basically, [my friends and I will be] sticking to what we already know and know that it’s a for sure, done deal event. [Any new event] is going to be very hard to trust,” she said.
Requests for comment weren’t immediately returned for this story.
There’s no word yet on a rescheduled date for Fresno, however there’s already a number of Facebook events made for other cities.