11 CALL FOR ACTION: Popular lantern festival postponed again, ticket holders concerned

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It's a popular event that's brought thousands of visitors to southern Colorado in the past.

But in the past year, The Lantern Fest has been postponed over and over again.

The event is sold out. It’s unclear how many tickets were sold, but they cost $30 each. A lot of people who had tickets told 11 News it's taken almost a year to get their money back. Others keep hanging on to their tickets hoping the event may finally happen.

"We really want to go," Chelsea Cooley said. "It's a really cool experience.”

The last time The Lantern Fest came to Colorado Springs was in April of 2015. It brought thousands of visitors to Pikes Peak International Raceway.

"My sister said she loved it when she went. She thought it would be something we would really enjoy,” Cooley said.

Fast forward to November of 2016 -- organizers of The Lantern Fest announced the event was postponed.

"I think it was about a week beforehand, they said it was cancelled,” Cooley said.

Organizers announced a new date: April 8 at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR). A spokesperson for PPIR, who rented the space out to The Lantern Fest in the past, said that date was never booked for the event.

The Fountain Fire Department said the organizers of The Lantern Fest never applied for a permit.

So it's no surprise that date also was postponed, as was the next date, Sept. 30.

Most recently, the event was set for Dec. 2 at I-25 Speedway in Pueblo. But a few days before, organizers said it was not going to happen due to weather concerns.

"It was nice out, I just remember saying before we left how nice of a day it was. It was perfect,” Cooley said.

Cooley and her boyfriend drove all the way to Pueblo from Colorado Springs for the event they’d been waiting for since last November, unaware the event had been cancelled again.

11 News contacted the owner of I-25 Speedway, and he says The Lantern Fest never had a permit to hold the event there. Pueblo County records confirmed that.

11 News reached out to the organizers of The Lantern Fest, Sack Lunch Productions out of Salt Lake City, Utah, several times for a comment. The phone went unanswered during business hours and we couldn’t get in touch with them through email either.

"At this point, if it's that big of a problem and they can't get it rescheduled, I would like them to just contact everyone and say, 'Would you like your money back?'” Cooley said.

The Lantern Fest Facebook page says the new event is set for spring of 2018 at I-25 Speedway in Pueblo. But the owner of the speedway tells 11 News he hasn't heard from the organizers in months.