Hayes Barton Mom Attempts to Sell Child for Holiday Express Tickets

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ITB Moms Miss Out on Holiday Express…Again

Local authorities were dispatched to the home of Mary Anna Howell after receiving a tip that she had attempted to sell her child on the internet in exchange for tickets to Pullen Park’s sold-out Holiday Express event. The yearly event features a festively lit Pullen Park and a train ride on The Holiday Express, which runs for 10 nights in December.


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Howell’s posting, below, was found in micITBit, a private Facebook group which serves as a forum for ITB residents to buy and sell new or used items, seek out recommendations, and bitch about a variety of topics.

“UGH, y’all, I can’t even right now. We just wanted to take our kids to a lit AF Pullen Park but the tickets sold out in MINUTES! I’d be willing to give up our second child for 4 tickets. PM me if you have extras. Thanks!”

Authorities arrived at the home in Hayes Barton around 9:00 am and found Howell drinking rosé from an ITBlessed wine glass. They confronted her about the post.

“I wasn’t “selling” my child, it was just a joke and it wasn’t even my firstborn. Give me a break,” said Howell, who has three children and runs a multi-million dollar monogram store on Etsy that she claims is not a business.


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Howell claims the post was made out of frustration, and pointed to other moms who expressed disappointment. Like clockwork, the Facebook comments began to roll in as the tickets went on sale around 8:00 am.


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“I saw William Needham Finley IV’s post about trying to save Christmas, but I just couldn’t wait any longer,” said Howell, referring to William Needham Finley IV’s attempt to rent out the entire park by reaching out to the Raleigh Parks Department on Twitter.

“If I can’t get tickets I’m definitely buying one of his photoshop packages,” said Howell, referring to Finley IV’s offer to photoshop pictures of families on the Holiday Express for a small fee.


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“He also said he was going to set up a class action lawsuit that Stacy Miller would help us on, so we may join that,” added Howell.

To prevent people from buying a large quantity of tickets for the purpose of reselling them, the City capped the number of tickets one could buy at 10 per transaction. However, that doesn’t stop people from opening up multiple browser windows and buying 10 at a time.

“Raleigh Parks employees apparently had a betting pool on how fast the tickets would sell out. I’m pretty sure betting is illegal. Someone might want to look into that,” snapped Howell, as an agent looked through her monogramming drawer.

“It makes no sense why the City only holds this for 10 days. Hell, start it with “Christmas in July” and run it for 6 months if you have to. And are we really just letting anyone sign up for this? This is a CITY park. They should be verifying ZIP codes before allowing people to buy tickets,” Howell continued to rant, opening a second bottle of rosé as authorities searched her home.

Authorities determined that pretending to sell your child online in exchange for tickets to a holiday event was not actually a crime, but have placed Howell on a watch list. As they left the Hayes Barton home they could hear Howell on the phone with her husband yelling, “Do they know who I am? I mean, do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”


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