THE party vibe was in full swing in St John’s today as businesses, groups and residents joined forces to make the most of the balmy British weather.

Hundreds of people flocked to the 'Village in the City' to join members of the area’s trade association in celebrating summertime in St John’s.

The sun beamed down as special guest, Father Christmas, made an unseasonal stop-off to perform the ribbon cutting ceremony and officially declare the festivities open.

The grounds of St John-in-Bedwardine Church were a hive of activity, with dozens of stalls selling everything from tasty treats to gifts.

Youngsters put their skills to the test, taking part in games including giant Jenga and Connect4.

Sunshine and Youthcomm radio stations entertained the crowds with toe-tapping tunes broadcast from the Sunshine bus.

Other attractions included an exhibition showcasing the artistic talents of pupils from schools across the county, as well as a display of historic scenes of St John’s as portrayed by a local resident.

County and city councillor for St John’s, Richard Udall, said the event highlighted what made the area so special.

He said: “It’s a great occasion. It’s something St John’s needs to support. At long last, traders are coming together with the community to bring back the community spirit That’s what makes St John’s the place it is.”

The celebration follows the award of a £10,000 grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government to help revitalise the area after traders put forward a strong bid for funding from the Portas Pilot - a scheme aimed at revitalising high streets in the aftermath of the economic downturn.