Hundreds of residents gathered to kick of the festive celebrations by attending the annual Epping Christmas market.

Some 70 stalls lined High Street, Epping, offering marketgoers a chance to purchase last-minute Christmas gifts on Friday, December 6.

Organised by Epping Town Council, this year’s event ran from midday till 8pm including a special visit from Santa and Olaf the snowman from Disney-film Frozen at Epping Fire Station.

Students from several schools across the district, including Coopersale Hall School and Epping St John’s School, sang on the Piazza for visitors as the day progressed.

Musical entertainment was also provided by Epping Forest Band, Rock Choir and Harlow Salvation Army.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Several schools sang songs for marketgoers throughout the day

Epping Town Council posted a tweet expressing their gratitude to the community, saying:

“Thank you to everyone who was involved in Epping Christmas Market on Friday 6th Dec. The Christmas Market takes a lot of organisation and we hope you enjoyed the day. “Thank you for coming along and supporting our traders and entertainers.”

Town Mayor Grahame Scruton officially opened the market, also announced the winner of this year’s Christmas window shop display competition following an online poll.

Mr Smiths of London hair salon came top with around 260 public votes casted and were presented with The Audrey Rose Cup.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Town Mayor Grahame Scruton presents the Audrey Rose Cup to Mr Smith's of London after being voted the best Christmas window shop display in Epping

Crowds gathered to watch the light switch-on the 25ft high Christmas Tree, kindly paid for by the Rotary Club of Epping.

Epping Forest Guardian:

The 25ft Christmas tree in Epping town's Piazza had its lights officially switched on

Cllr Scruton thanked all the stallholders and entertainers for taking part and thanked town council staff Geraldine Vallis and Bill Towers for all their hard work.