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Times Square hosts 'Good Riddance Day' to shed 2014 woes away

A woman smashes an inhaler at The 'Good

A woman smashes an inhaler at The 'Good Riddance Day' Event at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty/Stephen Lovekin

A group of Times Square visitors didn't just kiss their 2014 woes goodbye Sunday; they shredded them to pieces.

Dozens took part in the eighth annual Good Riddance Day event, where they wrote down things they wanted to let go of in the new year and threw them into a shredder or, in some cases, smashed them to pieces. These ranged from ex-boyfriends, to credit card debt.

"It does make me feel accomplished," said Anna Daratany, of Coney Island, as she waited to drop her good riddance message into the shredding machine.

Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, the co-organizer of the event, said Good Riddance Day came from a similar tradition in Latin America. There, people would write down their troubles, put them inside a doll and light the doll on fire.

"We thought having a big bonfire in Times Square would be too much so we scaled it down," he joked.

Although the public shedding didn't draw a big a crowd to the area as the ball drop, Tompkins said the event has been growing in popularity over the years. In fact, this year chef Dominique Ansel helped out with the celebration offering free Cronuts to selected good riddance participants.

The free treat were enticing enough for Larissa Garbade, 25, to come out and "shred" the crutches she's using while recovering from foot surgery. She said she enjoyed the idea behind the shredding, calling it a "great way to leave behind" the worries of 2014.

"I think it's totally cool," she said.

Karen Pfeiff, 49, of Maryland, was one of a few participants who used the event to say goodbye to some tragic moments in their year. Her good riddance message was "cancer" because she recently lost her grandmother to the disease, whilend her brother-in-law, father-in-law and mother-in-law are all currently battling it.

"It's a breath of hope," Pfeiff said after she and her son shredded their letters. "I kind of feel good."


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