Christmas shoppers scored bargains from more than 70 stalls at Epping Town Council's festive market.

The rain held off as visitors perused items and entertainment along the High Street after town mayor councillor Nigel Avey declared the market officially open.

Among those performing on the piazza were school choirs along with music from the Epping Forest Band and Epping Forest Pipe Band.

Sparkle, the reindeer from Pets Corner in Harlow, was warmly greeted by visitors to the Market Garden Terrace while Olaf, from Frozen, wandered around the stalls meeting young visitors.

Mayor Nigel Avey presented Siswahz hair salon with the Audrey Rose Cup and a certificate as winner of the best festive window display.

Runners-up were the Beauty, Skin and Eyelash Lounge in Station Road and Mr Smith's hairdressers in the High Street.

The Town Mayor also switched on the lights on the 25ft Christmas tree on the piazza.

Cllr Avey said: "This special festive market has run for a number of years come rain, shine or snow and I am delighted that the rain cleared up and everyone could celebrate the start of the festive season in Epping in the dry.

"It was also a pleasure to present the Audrey Rose Cup to Siswahz for its delightful Christmas window display.

"My congratulations go to all the businesses which took the time to come up with lovely festive designs which add so much to the town over the Christmas period."