TEA cup rides, a bouncy castle and Santa’s grotto will provide the backdrop to a Christmas lights switch on event this weekend.

The lights in Great Dunmow will be turned on this Saturday with hundreds expected to go along.

They will be switched on by Santa at 6pm but the doors will open at 3pm for visitors to enjoy craft stalls and cafes.

There will be live entertainment on the stage with musical acts and food and refreshment stands as well.

A town team spokesman said: “The Town Team organise this event as they feel it’s an important community event, there is no entrance fee as they want it be something everyone can attend whatever their budget.”

“But funding for this event is limited, local businesses donate and the local council also contribute, but there is still a shortfall, therefore there will be donation buckets around on the day by the entrance and exit points, if you have a few spare pennies please throw them in.

“We know it’s an expensive time of year but whatever you can spare will be much appreciated.

“All monies received go directly into funding this event for this year and next.”

There will be a chance to visit Santa in his grotto but tickets will need to be booked in advance at £2.50 per child.

To book tickets visit www.visitgreatdunmow.co.uk/events.