WinterFest, a holiday market that popped-up in the parking lot of the Brooklyn Museum just over two weeks ago, was supposed to be Brooklyn's answer to the Union Square Holiday Market. Instead, visitors have complained that it's closer to Fyre Fest: Christmas Vacation, with incomplete attractions (including a headless Little Drummer Boy) and paid attractions that are rip-offs. Now, the Brooklyn DA's office is investigating the organizers of the event.

"This is a total scam and there are many angry New Yorkers," said Hannah Kim, who spent over $70 on opening weekend to attend the event and get access to its paid attractions. "The worst part [was] the chocolate dome house which consisted of Halloween candy and watered down hot chocolate, and the Christmas tree maze which was a really poorly decorated line of trees. In addition to the $75.08 [on tickets], we ended up spending $50+ dollar for food and wine."

Kim, 34, said she and her husband traveled from Bergen County in NJ, sitting in traffic for over an hour and a half, to come to this specific event: "[We] really looked forward to this event as Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for us — and especially in NYC — and found it extremely disappointing," she said. "Especially since the way it was advertised, we were expecting one of the best winterfests in NYC."

"Being that I made my husband drive for so long to go to this event, I was utterly embarrassed that I made him drive this long and spend $$ on this ridiculous event."

Mike Burnett had equally high expectations for the event. He and his wife came up from their home in Jackson, Mississippi to visit their grandkids, and decided to buy tickets ahead of time for WinterFest for the whole family. He said because of the association with Brooklyn Museum (who leased the parking lot to organizer Lena Romanova) and the descriptions which made it "sound like a European holiday marketplace," he expected it would be a good family-friendly event, and was happy to put down $110 on tickets for all the attractions.

"We started walking in and I just started laughing," he said. "It is the type of thing that if it had been a little bit better, it probably would have made me angry. But because it was so bad, it was funny."

"I was walking through making cracks to my wife about this," he said. After the two of them got the lay of the land in a few minutes, they met the rest of their family. "I told them, 'be prepared for the most wonderful thing you've ever seen,'" he said. "I was laughing through this whole thing."

At least two vendors dropped out after the first week. One of them, Pamela Barsky, told Brooklyn Daily that she paid more than $6,000 to sell bags inside faulty stalls, which she claimed constantly leaked and lost electricity. "This wasn’t just disorganized, I think they had every intention of scamming everyone,” she said, adding that sells her bags at similar bazaars across the city with no hitch. "It was like kindergartners trying to setup a show."

In response to the complaints, WinterFest spokesperson Jennifer Crosby told Gothamist earlier this week that changes would be made to the event, including making all attractions free to the public starting yesterday. She added, "Original paid tickets to the attractions included free hot chocolate for all, free photo with Santa and complementary [sic] wine glass for Adult Tickets. Fee visitors, however, were unsatisfied. Since then, refunds have been issued to all visitors who previously paid for attractions but couldn’t access them."

However, several of the people Gothamist spoke with said they had emailed Crosby to no avail. Both Burnett and Kim said they tried reaching out and haven't heard back: "I didn't get any response back at all. I wrote seven emails to Jennifer," said Kim. "Interestingly she only replied back to some people and refunded money to some while giving free tickets to the event to go again— for those who went on opening DAY, not the weekend."

Liz Grif told us she thought it was a sham as well: "I reached out to the organizer to get a refund for a horrible day and was ignored and never got my money back. I am angry that it is free now. And that she is lying when she said she refunded the money! I am beyond livid! I even sent a copy of my paid ticket as proof. How dare they promise children a festival!"

Kim added, "At this point, it is about the principle, how the Winterfest company is dealing with this."

The Brooklyn DA's Senior Communications Officer, Oren Yaniv, told Gothamist on Friday, “We are reviewing the complaint.”

Update: Crosby tells Gothamist WinterFest has not been contacted by DA about the complaints. "We regret any confusion about the event," she said.

"Out of thousands of visitors, we received around 3.5% of complaints," she added. "For visitors who complained about the attractions we offered to re-visit the festival and have complementary drinks, wine tasting and Santa Picture on us. Many visitors have already re-visited the event and enjoyed a hot mulled wine and out wine tasting. For visitors who arrived during the soft opening when we experienced power outage, we offer full refund. We are reviewing every complaint on case by case basis as we found many illegitimate or repeated demands of refund for same tickets. There has also been many anonymous comments with fake or doctored pictures."