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How fake tickets made their way into the Natchitoches Christmas festival

Only+official+Natchitoches+Christmas+Festival+tickets+will+be+accepted+at+festival+entrances.
Lia Portillo Cantarero
Only official Natchitoches Christmas Festival tickets will be accepted at festival entrances.

Each year, anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 official Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights tickets are purchased by consumers from all around the country. Beyond that, however, there is a growing number of fake tickets being sold within the community.

Jill Leo, Natchitoches Historic District Business Association director, shared that a major issue this festival season is the creation of fake festival events.

“I can tell you right now there are probably over 50 fake Natchitoches Christmas events that have been added to Facebook, they’re saying it’s an event and they’re copying all of our information,” Leo said.

Rather than scam through a third-party website, social media has been the main source of fake Natchitoches Christmas festival tickets.

Fake Natchitoches Christmas Facebook accounts are using bots to increase their following by thousands a day. These accounts have spread in popularity, through their use of bots, and gained a false sense of credibility within the community.

“Most of the scamming we’ve had has not necessarily been through a site, but just people posting that they have tickets for sale and unfortunately other people fall for it and purchase those ‘tickets,’” Leo said.

To further their false credibility, the scam accounts are also stealing official Natchitoches Christmas graphics and offering ‘discounts’ to those who purchase from them. Buying from any private individuals puts consumers at risk of being scammed.

Leo explained that the sale of scam festival tickets began in 2020 due to the limited festival capacity. Guidelines set by the Natchitoches Fire Marshal’s office limited the sale of tickets greatly.

“Because of the nature of things in 2020, we were only allowed to have 3,000 people on the riverbank each weekend, so once we sold out of 3,000 tickets we could not sell any more official tickets,” Leo said.

Festival tickets in 2020 sold out months before the festival had started which caused consumers to trust in third-party purchasing.

Once pandemic practices were excluded, sale of tickets returned to normal. Leo stresses that now there is no recess of tickets.

“On a typical year, we don’t run out of tickets so there’s no reason to buy tickets from a third party,” Leo said.

Fake tickets may not be sold as often as in 2020, but those looking to buy tickets should still stay aware.

“Out of all the tickets we receive for the festival, we may have been presented with about 35 scam tickets, it’s usually not a high number anymore,” Leo said. “We’re not having tons of people coming to the gates with scam tickets, but it does happen periodically.”

Only official Natchitoches Christmas Festival tickets will be accepted at festival entrances.

Official festival tickets are only credible for the selected date purchased at checkout and selected by the consumer. If tickets are purchased at the festival, ticket booths will be available on Front Street and the Riverfront and can be purchased with cash or credit.

When attending the festival with pre-purchased tickets, attendees should bring their receipt with them to avoid any errors or misconception. Visitors will need to supply proof of purchase in order to receive an armband to enter the festival area.

All information on the Natchitoches Christmas Festival is provided on their official website, natchitocheschristmas.com, including the complete festival schedule, ticket information, questions and all contact information.

To avoid purchasing fake tickets in total, Leo suggested that tickets should only be purchased from the official Natchitoches Christmas website or in-person at the festival.

“We tell everyone the same thing, either you should purchase tickets from our official website, which is natchitocheschristmas.com, or you should purchase tickets in person,” Leo said. “Don’t take a chance in purchasing from a third-party or an individual who is trying to get rid of their so-called tickets.”

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About the Contributors
Nina Ovalle, Current Sauce - News Editor
Nina Ovalle is a junior hospitality management and tourism major. This is her third year in The Current Sauce, and second year as News editor. She hopes to bring important campus information to light and make students aware of everything that goes on around them.
Lia Portillo Cantarero, Current Sauce - Editor-in-Chief
Lia Portillo Cantarero is a junior communication major. This is her third year in The Current Sauce and as Editor-in-Chief she hopes to raise awareness around the stories that are happening in the campus community. For Lia, becoming the Editor-in-Chief has been a dream and she is honored to carry the legacy of The Current Sauce forward.

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