FOLLOWING our story in yesterday's paper about the Winter Weekend at Bolton Arena, dozens of readers have got in touch.

Here is a selection of what they said.

I attended the Winter Weekend today with a large group of family and was horrified from the offset. People serving on food stalls and operating rides carelessly walking around smoking with no consideration for people who chose not to smoke and innocent children who are inhaling second-hand smoke while waiting to get on fairground attractions.

Inside the event, which you should NOT have had to pay to enter, was merely just market stalls and resembled a car boot sale.

Overpriced, miss-sold and an absolute waste of a day off work.

So disappointing for the kids and frustrating for everyone who shelled out money to attend.

I’m also shocked that we were charged £5 to park on a carpark that is usually free.

The whole event was miss-sold with exceptional marketing.

It’s exactly like buying a dress from China ­— it never bares any resemblance to the original selling photograph.




Luckily I parked for free, but if you weren't aware there was free parking, you'd have paid £5 for parking as there were official looking signs saying no event parking.

Anyway, my 4-year-old son and I ventured in as I'd paid online previously.

The arena was completely full of inappropriate, non-relevant stalls, there were massive queues for Santa, the stage and the tiny bouncy castles.

There was nothing for kids other than the things you could queue for.

So we then ventured to the ice rink that was about the size of my garden and made of some sort of plastic. Shocking. We followed this by paying on a couple of rides outside.

The fair was small with adequate, but minimal. I'm so glad I live nearby and hadn't made a special trip ­— we were out of there in 30 minutes.

It just feels likes massive con! My son, unfortunately, had previously been to the Winter Wonderland at Event City near the Trafford Centre with his grandparents and kept saying it was nothing like he'd been to previously.

It was shocking.

Kris Culliney

Bromley Cross

I would like to have said it was a great day, but in fact it was a shambles!

Total rip off charging to get in and we paid extra for Santa and the globe which we never went to as it looked terrible ­— nothing like the advertising of the event!

No sight of Mickey Mouse or other characters and no sign of Christmas around the event.

Disgusted and I would like a refund.

Marybeth Woods

Attended Bolton Winter Weekend with our six-month-old son.

Complete disgrace ­— more like a standard market place full of irrelevant tat. There was nothing Christmas themed at all.

It was advertised that there would be a soft play area and prior to us pre booking the event, I also contacted organisers to see if it was suitable for a six-month-old and we were told “absolutely”.

At no point did I see any sort of soft play area for children nor did we see Mickey or Minnie or other characters advertised according to the agenda times.

Queues for inflatable grotto and a poor excuse of a snow globe where ridiculous, despite pre-purchasing tickets.

After booking tickets for the grotto we found out that there were no photos given with Santa or in the snow globe, all though advertised in fact you have to hand your phone over to a complete stranger if you wanted a picture.

After 30 minutes we left.

The only one good thing was the Build a Bear ­— very friendly stall holder took the time to entertain our son whilst making his bear and even let him have a picture with him all dressed as Santa Claus. Only festive part of the whole event!

We have travelled far for this event and also paid for hotel to stay over and found it a complete con and feel ripped off.

Refunds should be issued as this was far from a family Christmas event and utter disappointment to my family and many others; organiser ought to be ashamed!

Lyndsey Keaney