The Official Final Ending for Chattanooga’s Never-Ending #TacoGate Scandal

I know, you’re sick of this story.  I’m sick of this story too.  But I’m pleased to announce that the ongoing saga known as #TacoGate has finally drawn to an end.  No, really.  It’s over.  For good.  I promise.

For those who are late to join this soap opera, the #TacoGate scandal erupted in April when a traveling taco and tequila festival came to town.  According to the flood of angry emails and social media comments that followed, it was a disastrous shit show.  How bad?  Bad enough that, the most relentlessly positive name in Chattanooga media, actually published a critical article for the first time in its history.

Over the next few months, I would continue to get angry emails from people around the region who felt they’d been misled or stiffed by the same company (Acklen Park Productions) at one of the many taco, tequila or hot air balloon festivals.  I kept covering their events, and even went back and researched their past events too.  There were a whole lot of angry people.

In May, Acklen Park abruptly postponed their Clarksville Taco & Tequila Festival when the tequila failed to show up.  At the time, they promised the Leaf Chronicle that they would make it right, and quickly announced the event would be rescheduled for August 31st. 

That was last Friday.  The rescheduled event never happened.  There were no further announcements from Acklen Park Productions.  The Leaf Chronicle published two follow-ups in which they revealed that Acklen Park never actually rented the event space.  Acklen Park’s CEO Matt Lowney refused to answer any calls or emails.

Instead, Acklen Park Productions deleted their Facebook page and all the relevant information about their past events.  All information on their website has been deleted as well, except for this brief new message:


That’s right… Acklen Park Productions is officially over.  And you know what that means… so too is the ongoing saga of #TacoGate.  Good riddance!  Farewell!  Now that #TacoGate is officially over, I can go back to covering things I actually care about… like upscale artisanal farm-to-table fried bologna sandwiches!