Daily Mail - - Front Page -

‘DADDY, why are they burn­ing a man in a wheel­chair?’ No, not the lat­est Izal snuff video, but one of the at­trac­tions at a Win­ter Won­der­land event in Bed­ford­shire. This year it was the turn of Woburn Abbey to dis­ap­point par­ents and chil­dren alike. The burn­ing wheel­chair was part of the Lu­mi­nar­ies Wobur­nen­sis event, which has been de­nounced as ‘pa­thetic’ and ‘ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful’. Af­ter queu­ing for 90 min­utes and pay­ing £10.50 to get in, fam­i­lies were treated to a sham­bolic dis­play of melt­ing ice sculp­tures, lanterns made out of cheap can­dles in pa­per bags, a few fairy lights and a bub­ble ma­chine which broke down. The cli­max of the show was set­ting light to an ef­figy in a wheel­chair. A nice touch, no doubt, but what’s that got to do with the fes­tive sea­son? It hap­pens ev­ery year, some­where or other, yet peo­ple still get suck­ered in. A cou­ple of years ago, the La­p­land Adventure in the New For­est re­sem­bled a cross be­tween an il­le­gal gipsy site and a down­mar­ket gar­den cen­tre. Fights broke out be­tween par­ents, Fa­ther Christ­mas and his elves, and the ‘rein­deer’ were don­keys with fake antlers tied to their heads. Last year’s Christ­mas ex­trav­a­ganza in Mil­ton Keynes fea­tured an ‘ice rink’ made out of a plas­tic sheet and a grotto ‘which smelled vaguely of urine’. You’d think by now, most peo­ple would have worked out that it’s ad­vis­able to give these tacky, two-bob Win­ter Won­der­lands a wide berth. Yet still the pun­ters turn up, more in hope than ex­pec­ta­tion. Burn­ing a man in a wheel­chair? What will they think of next year — a be­head­ing?

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