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New Year’s newlyweds’ big surprise

How’s this for ringing in the New Year?

Jill Reagan, fiancé Marcus Healey and 150 people were gathered for a New Year’s Eve/engagement party at Ybor City’s Don Vicente Inn.

That’s what guests thought.

Then about 90 minutes into the bash, Jill’s pop, Ron Reagan, gets up and announces, “Not only were you invited to an engagement party -- you are all here for the actual wedding itself.”

Presto chango!

Bridesmaids whisked Jill upstairs and into her wedding dress while downstairs was transformed into a wedding reception-and-New Year’s Eve party.

The couple married about 9 p.m. and everyone partied until 2 a.m.

Besides the newlyweds, among the only people in on the big surprise were both parents, the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

“Not being able to tell anyone drove us crazy the last couple of months, but it turned out to be a scream,” Ron said.

n Speaking of big parties, family members from here to Georgia will gather to help Julius W. Clark celebrate turning 90 on Jan. 18.

n Joked Robin Bryant, who handled the Manatee County Fair culinary judging last Saturday with her usual flair: “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I make post-Manatee County Fair resolutions.”

n Sue and Terry Longpre are wed 41 years.

n Big ups to Amy Whittington, Danielle Williams, Emily Egan, Christopher Lawless, Jason Besse and Stephen Desch, Ultra Mixed team winners in the 2012 Ragnar Relay Race from Miami to Key West.

Starting at 1 p.m. last Friday, they helped run 198.5 miles in 26:11.12 -- and then crashed.

“They were too pooped to party,” said Beth Egan, Emily’s mom.

n Daniel Dykes is 21. Cheers from Debbie and Emmett Dykes, Katie and Wes Hamm, Carin and Danny Hall, Tessa, Josey, Robert and Emma Hamm and grandma Louise Dykes.

n Neil Spirtas is 27 years at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

n Just as Juan Roldan, Iraq veteran and Wounded Warrior, was settling into his new Parrish home, he went into the Bay Pines VA hospital for another surgery Jan. 3.

A double amputee, Roldan faces 12 weeks of recuperation and rehab.

n Uh, oh! Pete Frye hit the Big 7-0!

n Remember the 13th annual Manatee Hurricanes Baseball Steakout & Reunion, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 3 at McKechnie Field.

Call head coach Dwayne Strong at 725-2293 or Bruce

Braithwaite at 720-9224.

n Oh, no! Fred Graves, a retired USAF colonel and Manatee County Veterans Council secretary, has hit the Big 8-0.

n When the Manatee County Fair nears, historically it brings rainy weather, too.

Charles Panacek is well aware of the quirky phenomenon.

It happens here and at other fairs when his Belle City Amusements rolls into another town, especially during those Midwest summers.

“Farmers love to see us when they haven’t had rain for awhile,” he quipped.

Vin’s People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055, or