THE ORGANISERS of the Winter Weekend event held at Bolton Arena have responded to hundreds of complaints from those who attended.

Day one of the two-day event was held on Saturday and promised appearances from Walt Disney film favourites, stalls featuring food, perfume, clothespins, and other goods, and a Santa's grotto.

But many families who visited the event have contacted The Bolton News with complaints.

Harry Houghton, who went to the event with his children called it a "disaster", saying they waited for more than two hours in a queue to see Father Christmas and that he felt like he had been "ripped off", with poor stalls selling items unrelated to Christmas or winter.

He explained that he could find no staff from the events company to direct his complaints towards.

Another person, a mother, said her family had jointly spent £60 on tickets for the Winter Weekend, and that the stalls were "more like a carboot", adding that her young children left the event feeling "disappointed".

Several people have also complained that comments left on the events Facebook page had been deleted.

A percentage of profits from the day will go towards Bolton Hospice and Boot Out Breast Cancer.

Event manager Martin Robinson acknowledged that there had been issues with queueing yesterday, and that measures would be in place on day two to alleviate that.

He added: "We had a lot more people turn up than we expected.

"We have moved the grotto and snow globe around to make queueing easier and get more people through in a better way."

Mr Robinson added that there was plenty to do for youngsters at the event, including an ice rink, a ball pool, bouncy castles, and a range of entertainment, including Disney characters.

"This event is fantastic for Bolton," he said. "The organisers have tried to bring the local community and businesses together.

"The response at the event has actually been really positive. Most of the people that went away yesterday were happy."

Adult entry tickets are priced at £3 per day, or a weekend pass can be bought for £5. Children under 12 will get in to the the event free, if accompanied by a paying adult.

Entry tickets give admission to all the stalls, the fun fair and kids activities.

However, separate tickets are required for the Santa's grotto, snow globe and ice rink. Rides, stalls, and events operated by third parties may cost money though.

What did you think of the Winter Weekend? Contact us on to give your views.