Walton’s late-night Christmas shopping event has been hailed as the best ever.

Hundreds packed the High Street for an evening of fun and entertainment with a host of attractions to suit all ages.

There was a variety of live music with Sammy B, Just Lee and Cookie and saxophonist Sean Biswell as well as Feel Good Choir and All Saints Church Choir.

A stilt-walking Mrs Claus, fire-eater, The Grinch, Barbie and Ken and stormtroopers added to the thrills along with the arrival of Santa who had a grotto in A Perfect Touch Beauty and Nail Salon.

There were also performances from Street Elite Dance Academy and fairground rides for the children as well as facepainting provided by Operation: Party Time.

Frinton and Walton Town Mayor Paul Clifton turned on the Christmas lights along with Rev Peter Edwards at 4pm and the event went through until 8pm.

The High Street was full of crafts, tombola and raffle stalls as well as festive treats and warming hot drinks.

The whole evening was organised by the Walton Shopkeepers and Residents Group, supported by Walton’s district councillor Ann Oxley.

Spokesperson Vanessa Heady of Heady’s Hobbies said the feedback from those who took part and attended was amazing.

“People have said it was Walton’s best late-night shopping event ever staged and everyone seems to have a lot of fun,” she said. “We had funding for the first time from the Walton Forum, Frinton and Walton Town Council and Tendring District Council and it made all the difference.

“Most of the shops opened up and there was a fantastic atmosphere.”

The event also raised around £400 for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance charity.