IT’S going to be a special 20th birthday for dozens of young Scots this year, with all those born here on July 1, 1999, to be asked to come and join the party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament.

It was on that day almost 20 years ago that the Queen officially opened the Scottish Parliament with the powers invested in it by the Scotland Act 1998 after the historic devolution referendum of the previous year.

READ MORE: Here's our top 20 highlights from two decades of the Scottish Parliament

The Parliament’s first sitting had taken place on May 12 when Winnie Ewing uttered her memorable words: “The Scottish Parliament, adjourned on the 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby reconvened.”

The birthday of the Parliament is reckoned as dating from the official opening, and that is why a nationwide search is being launched for the babies that were born on July 1, 1999, to invite them to take part in the main celebration of the 20th anniversary which is scheduled for Saturday, June 29.

A spokesperson for the Parliament said: “The young people were central to the Parliament’s 10th anniversary in 2009 and we are asking them to contact us. Any young people who were born on July 1, 1999, in Scotland should contact”

The birthday celebration will be the principal event in a year-long programme to mark 20 years since the creation of the Parliament.

It was on May 6, 1999, that the first elections were held, with Labour’s Tom McCabe the first MSP to be officially elected at 11.16pm that night.

After the first sitting of the re-convened Scottish Parliament and its official opening, members went straight to work, with the first legislation passed within 10 weeks. The Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act was the first emergency/executive bill. It was introduced by Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Wallace on August 31 which was passed by the Parliament on September 9.

Designed to showcase the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on the lives of those living in Scotland over the last two decades, the anniversary programme will include the launch of a new public exhibition telling the story of the Parliament; a series of family days; and a national photography competition to find the best images illustrating Holyrood’s 20-year history.

A highlight of the programme will be an event in the debating chamber on Saturday, June 29, marking almost 20 years to the day since the Parliament officially assumed its legal powers.

The Parliament will later that day open its doors to the people of Scotland for an afternoon of celebration and commemoration.

Details of the full programme will be released throughout the year with many opportunities for people across Scotland to be involved.

Announcing the programme yesterday, Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said: “This 20th anniversary year is an ideal opportunity to reflect on how far we have come over the last two decades and to remind everyone of the positive impact the Scottish Parliament has had on peoples’ lives.

“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.”