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'Parliament babies' wanted to celebrate Holyrood's birth

Scots born on July 1, 1999 are invited to play key role in 20th anniversary of Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Parliament officially opened on July 1, 1999.
The Scottish Parliament officially opened on July 1, 1999.

Holyrood bosses are planning a year-long programme of special events to commemorate the Parliament's 20th anniversary.

The Scottish Parliament was officially opened on July 1, 1999, and officials are also trying to track down the 163 Scots born on that day so they can join in the celebrations.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said the Parliament's anniversary is an "ideal opportunity to reflect how far we have come over the last two decades and to remind everyone of the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on people's lives".

After Scots voted in favour of establishing their own Parliament in 1997, the first devolved Holyrood elections took place on May 6, 1999.

The Parliament first sat a few days later, on May 12, with MSPs meeting in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh until the Holyrood building was completed in 2004.

'The Parliament is also extremely keen to hear from the 163 young people in Scotland that share our birthday'
Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh

The anniversary events will include a public exhibition telling the story of the Parliament, along with a photography competition aimed at finding the best images from its 20-year history.

A series of family days will be held throughout the year, while the Parliament will host a gathering in the debating chamber on Saturday, June 29 as Holyrood opens its doors to the public for a day of celebration and commemoration.

More details of the events will be announced later, but Mr Macintosh said: "In a time of exasperation with politics and politicians, our programme has been designed to reinvigorate interest in Scottish politics and remind people that this is a Parliament for the whole of Scotland based on the values of openness and equality.

"The Parliament is also extremely keen to hear from the 163 young people in Scotland that share our birthday.

"We would like them to play a part in our year-long programme of commemoration.

"So this is an appeal to those 'July 1 babies' to come forward so we can celebrate together."

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