Families, food fans and dogs alike will be getting in the Christmas spirit this November as the Essex Christmas Festival arrives in Maldon for a weekend of fun.

The festive country show, which also incorporates the ever-popular Festival of Dogs, will this year take place at Crowne Plaza Five Lakes in Maldon, on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November from 10.00am to 5.00pm on both days.

A fabulous day out for the whole family (dogs, too), there will be a great mix of Christmas shopping, food and drink, cookery demonstrations, live music and shows and, of course, a special visit from Father Christmas and his reindeer.

ESSEX CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

There will be plenty of activities to keep everyone amused, including free entertainment throughout the day. While adults enjoy stocking up on Christmas treats, kids can have fun in their own special area, where they can catch the panto (Goldilocks and the Three Bears), interact with Punch and Judy and even visit the circus.

Essex Christmas Festival

Don’t forget to say hello to Father Christmas and his reindeers Rudolph and Dancer while you’re at the show. All money raised through visiting Father Christmas will go to Shelter, the Homeless Charity.

Other highlights include donkey and carriage rides, a petting zoo and song from a wonderful choir.

SHOPPING AT THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

Rural crafters and plenty of independent trade stands offering you the chance to purchase some truly unique Christmas gifts.

For foodies, festive-themed cookery demonstrations will be running throughout the weekend, with some of the best chefs from the region showing you how to make their favourite Christmas foods and offering tips for perfecting your own Christmas parties. Keep an eye out for the British Bake Off and MasterChef contestants who’ll be showing you some of their top festival recipes.

There will be additional talks from craft alcohol producers, foragers, and other food fans.

FESTIVALS OF DOGS CHRISTMAS PAWTRY

Four-legged friends won’t be left out at the show with the fantastic Festivals of Dogs. Each day there will be over 20 fun dog so classes to enter, such as the Waggiest Tail, Child’s Best Friend, and My Dog’s Got Talent. The dog shows are always a big hit with dog lovers and great fun to watch.

Essex Christmas Festival

Head along and visit Doggy Father Christmas and get your four-legged family member a gift for under the tree. You will also receive a complimentary Butcher’s Goody Bag. All money raised from visiting the Doggy Father Christmas will go to Doodles Trust Dog Rescue.

ATTENDING

Advanced ticket prices – Adults £8, Concessions £7, Children, £4 (5-13 years), and Under 5s go FREE.

Ticket prices on the gate – Adults £10, Concessions £8.50, Children, £5 (5-13 years), and Under 5s go FREE.

To find out more about the Essex Christmas Festival and book discounted tickets, visit www.festivemarket.co.uk