Gallery: Festive fun hits Essex

CHRISTMAS cheer delighted thousands of revellers in Essex this weekend.

Elliot Furniss

CHRISTMAS cheer delighted thousands of revellers in Essex this weekend.

With a large seasonal food and craft show taking place at the historic Cressing Temple Barns, near Braintree, it was only right that Santa Claus should get in on the action - and he did, arriving in style on the beach at Clacton.

Traders and manufacturers of all sizes converged on the eighth annual Cressing Temple Barns Food and Craft Show, with more than 120 stalls offering something for everyone.

The site, now owned by Essex County Council, has its origins in the 12th century, when it was the first land given to the Knights Templar in England.

Yesterday, hundreds of people braved the winter weather to sample some local produce, both traditional and contemporary, and pick up a Christmas gift.

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Meanwhile, Clacton was alive with festive fun as a special Christmas fun day was held in the town centre on Saturday to add some sparkle to the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The fun day was a new initiative to offer something extra to shoppers in the town and organiser Joanne Rogers, Clacton's town centre manager, said it would help to make the most of what is on offer in the build up to Christmas.

She said: “This is not in competition to Clacton's late shopping, put on by Clacton Community Projects on December 4, it's in addition to it and aimed to compliment it.

“We wanted to provide something during the daytime where families could come into Clacton and enjoy some traditional festive fun.”

There were regular renditions of popular carols, a performance by the Smooth Grooves Community Dance School, seasonal music from the Clacton Co-operative Band and free face painting for children.

Yesterday, it was Santa's turn to grab the limelight as he arrived on the beach at Martello Bay before settling in to his grotto at the Clacton Lifeboat Station.

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