Epping will officially get into the Christmas spirit when the town celebrates its annual light switch-on.

This year's event, which is being held on Friday, December 1, will be feature a Christmas market, organised by Epping Town Council.

There will be more than 50 Christmas craft, gift and food stalls in Epping High Street with the market running from noon until 8pm.

The annual Christmas Tree Festival at St John's Church will also open as part of the celebrations and will run until December 4.

A varied programme of entertainment will be stage in the town centre from 3.30pm after the official opening by Town Mayor councillor Tony Church.

Music will be provided by local school and adult choirs, Epping Folk Club singers Noel Cowley and Matthew Shepherd, Epping Forest Band, the Harlow Salvation Army Band and Will Baki.

The Town Mayor will switch on the Christmas tree lights, on the giant tree on the town piazza, during the event.

As part of the festivities, Santa will be visiting Epping Fire Station from 4pm.

Other attractions include magic tricks, balloon modelling, Peppa Pig, face painting, a Town Crier and an Epping Ongar Railway vintage bus.

Limited free car parking will be available in the Cottis Lane car park from noon courtesy of Epping Forest District Council.