Characters from the Nativity story greeted visitors to the Christmas Shoreham Farmers' Market.
A host of angels, shepherds, wise men, an innkeeper and other characters were in East Street on Saturday to give out forms for a special family Christmas treasure hunt in brilliant crisp sunshine.
They were all members of Shoreham Baptist Church, who donned costumes for the annual event.
Nick Hough, one of the organisers, said: “We had scores of people through the doors, it must have been one of the busiest treasure hunts ever.
"The free café worked non-stop handing out mince pies and hot drinks.
“Everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoyed doing the hunt. Families now look out for it as it has become such a regular fixture of the pre-Christmas calendar in Shoreham.”
Families had to read the Nativity story and give passwords from it to the characters, who then stamped their forms.
Completed forms were taken to the baptist church, in Western Road, where people could meet Mary and Joseph with the baby and crib.
Free chocolate treasure was handed out, along with other refreshments, and there were craft activities, such as making cards and decorations.
The treasure hunt was enhanced once again by the live donkey, kindly loaned by farmer David Cross from Mile Oak Farm. The animal was hugely popular with the children and provided a great photo opportunity.
The overall winner, picked from a hat, was given a £25 voucher for Toast by the Coast.
The church's annual carol service will be on Christmas Eve at 6.30pm.