HUNDREDS of people took to the streets to show their love for Loughton in a day of family fun.

The ‘Love Loughton’ event was officially opened by the High Sheriff of Essex, Christopher Palmer-Tomkinson this morning.

Crowds gathered to watch a parade led by the Royal British Legion march from Traps Hill to St Mary’s Church in the High Road.

And after that families enjoyed watching events including a weightlifting contest while being entertained by music from performers including an Ethiopian choir.

There were free horse and carriage rides courtesy of T. Cribb and Sons and plenty of fun for children with face painting and bouncy castles.

More than 100 volunteers from seven different churches gave up their time to help make the day a success.

St Mary's vicar Revd Malcolm Macdonald said: "The day was a real success - about 50 per cent bigger than last year. We reckon we had 3,000 people come along.

"The European weight-lifting champion's appearance was a real highlight. The stage was full all day and people were just dancing in the street.

"I think it did what we hoped it would do. It was a day that was really a celebration of the community, a chance for the community of Loughton to come together."