The Scottish Parliament is counting down to the biggest birthday party it has ever seen. The birthday cards are signed, the cake is iced and more than 140 ten-year-olds are gearing up for the birthday of a lifetime.
The children, who were all born on 1 July 1999, have been invited to help the Parliament mark its own tenth birthday tomorrow. The day will begin with an address by Her Majesty The Queen followed by a range of activities organised especially for the birthday children and their families.
On Thursday 1 July 1999, on the same day the Parliament was founded, 163 children were born in Scotland. Every child was presented with a commemorative medal from the First Minister Donald Dewar. Parliamentary officials have managed to locate 145 children, 142 of whom are travelling from across Scotland, the UK, Canada, the USA and even the Faroe Islands to attend the party.
The giant birthday cake measures three feet by two feet and is covered in a montage of photographs taken by the birthday children themselves. It stands on a board bearing the Scottish Parliament tartan and was made by Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes in Linlithgow.
The Presiding Officer has personally signed each of the 145 limited-edition tenth-birthday cards. The card uses the MSPs' "thinking window" as a cut-out, through which purple and blue Scottish Parliament balloons are shown.
The design reflects the balance of the day – the building and its significance juxtaposed with the fun and games that all of our visitors will enjoy. On the reverse, the Scottish Parliament ‘10’ logo links the card to all of the other elements created to mark the day.
The Queen will address MSPs and guests in the Chamber before meeting the children born on 1 July. Shortly afterwards, the children will attend a birthday party in the Members’ Restaurant, followed by an official birthday photograph with the Presiding Officer in the Debating Chamber.
Throughout the afternoon a range of fun activities will take place. Among the eight different workshops are:
- Science workshop from Glasgow Science Centre
- Music workshop from Scottish Chamber Orchestra
- Drama workshop from the National Theatre of Scotland
- Craft workshop from Ceramic Experience.
There will also be magicians, jugglers, balloon modellers, face painters and children’s entertainers across the Parliament.