Fla. woman ventures to Gastonia, N.C., fooled by TikTok video making it look like Switzerland
From Florida, the woman isn’t surrounded by mountains and was thrilled at the opportunity to see them.
GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - A TikTok video influenced a Florida woman to visit what she thought was a small village in Gastonia, North Carolina surrounded by snowy mountains.
The video has more than 5 million views.
“[Gastonia] sounded like a Disney movie, right? Like a little town out of Disney movie,” said TikToker Olivia Garcia.
Garcia and her family were in the Carolinas to check out the recent snow.
When she saw this video, she convinced her family to make a stop.
“I was like oh wait can we make a pit stop in this place called Gastonia because I just saw this TikTok and it looks so pretty,” she said.
From Florida, Garcia isn’t surrounded by mountains and was thrilled at the opportunity to see them.
“And then all of a sudden we get there, and it’s just rundown gas stations - like we had to go to the bathroom and there was no bathroom that worked in any of the gas stations,” Garcia said.
Chronicling her reaction, Garcia’s TikTok video in actual Gastonia has hundreds of thousands of views.
WBTV learned the guy behind the original post is Zachary Keesee – a North Carolina native whose fake location videos have gotten him lots of views.
This one is from his trip to Switzerland.
“Hitting a million, 2 million, now up to 6 million about. It’s been pretty crazy,” Keesee said.
The situation has now gained the attention of Gastonia Mayor Walker E. Reid, III.
“Apparently we are the Talk of the Town! And while Gastonia is certainly not Switzerland, we’re glad people are learning more about our Great City. We’re glad to see so many people having fun with Zachary Keesee’s post and hopefully Ms. Garcia will come back to see all the great things our city has to offer. In fact, if they want to contact me, I’d love to give them a personal tour and show them what makes our City tick!,” Reid said.
“I am sure there are pretty parts, so I will 100% go back,” Garcia said.
“I’ve never stopped in the city and you know, I think it’s time to pay a visit,” Keesee said.
Keesee tells WBTV he apologized to Garcia, who made light of the situation.
Garcia says she’s learned not to believe everything you see online.
Keesee says, his “Not Carolina” videos probably won’t continue that much longer.
He’d like to post some more real videos showcasing North Carolina and his adventures around the world.
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