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WALLENS READY TO AIR 'LAST BLAST OF 1999'

Niagara's own First Lady of Fun, Iney Wallens, ushers in her second millennium in show business Dec. 31 with a radio special, "The Last Blast of 1999."

OK, so she technically only spent a portion of the last 1,000 years in the biz; she's still an institution and, come Jan. 1, will have entertained everyone this side of Toronto in four different decades, two centuries and, yes, two millenniums.

Even Irv Weinstein can't say that.

Iney's weekly chit-chat session on WHLD is broadcast live from the Best Western Inn on the River on Buffalo Avenue, and is open to the public. Fans are asked to be seated by 12:30 p.m., with the show going live from 1 to 1:30.

"Since New Year's Eve falls on a Friday this year, we figured we may as well have some fun with it," Wallens said of her idea to have a "pre-New Year's Eve" blowout. "A lot of people I've talked to are staying home that night out of Y2K fear, so we'll party in the afternoon, instead."

Guests will include Mayor-elect Irene Elia and members of the City Council.

Don't expect any fireworks, though. Elia won't officially assume the job until the next day, and the most politically charged question Wallens intends to ask is what resolutions the pols will make for the coming year.

The Inn's dining room will be decked out for the occasion, and Wallens has lined up special prizes and a huge, complimentary cake to top the festivities.

Local entertainer Nick Zawacki will sing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and "Niagara On The Move," and Jan Montezolli will lead a sing-along of "Auld Lang Syne."

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