UNITED STATES

2023’s problems and peeves are bid a symbolic farewell at pre-New Year’s Times Square event

Dec 29, 2023, 7:59 AM | Updated: 10:33 am

Magician Devonte Rosero, right, burns notes written by people in Times Square in New York, Thursday...

Magician Devonte Rosero, right, burns notes written by people in Times Square in New York, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. The burning was part an event called Good Riddance Day, where people wrote their frustrations or problems on slips of paper that were then burned, symbolizing hope for better year ahead. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

(AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

NEW YORK (AP) — One person wanted to get past anger issues. Others sought to turn the page on medical bills, work stress, insecurities, taxes, regrets, bad habits, bad hair days, COVID-19, worrying about what other people think, and “all negativity of 2023.”

People hoping to shed those and other problems converged on Times Square Thursday for “Good Riddance Day,” a promotional pre-New Year’s Eve event that offers a chance to, at least symbolically, cast away burdens, peeves and bad memories.

“The whole world is going through this. There’s lots of people going through bad experiences. Wars, inflation, life has been rough. I’m just hoping for 2024 to just give everyone a break from those terrible things,” Angel Villaneuva of Washington said after watching his personal banes — bad relationships and negative energy and experiences — go up in smoke.

Previous iterations of “Good Riddance Day” have involved shredders and a dumpster. But this year, magician Devonte Rosero used a grill lighter and a flourish of his hand to quickly incinerate pieces of paper on which Villaneuva and others had written down what they wanted to put behind them.

For Carol Vera, that’s fast food and unhealthy snacks, now that she’s learned she has high cholesterol levels. But on a broader level, the New Yorker is sad about conflict around the world.

“We should be focusing on humanity, instead of fighting with each other,” Vera said.

Natasha Naheir was keen to be done with college applications, school, bad hair and makeup days, and fake friends. Naheir, who was visiting from North Carolina, is excited for 2024: “There’s a lot we can improve from this year,” she said.

Despite all the troubles of 2023, Villaneuva is optimistic, too.

“Some people might think it’s too good to be true to be hopeful or to wish for something, but I like to stay hopeful and positive,” he said.
___
Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed.

Related: Give yourself grace and achievable goals for your New Year’s resolution, therapist says

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

United States

View of Salt Lake City pictured, governor is cracking down on denver sending immigrants to utah...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah governor’s office pushing back against Denver for bussing immigrants to Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox's office says that the City of Denver did not consult with them about sending immigrants to Utah.

5 days ago

SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone...

Kira Hoffelmeyer, Jessica Lowell

Utah reactions to SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone access

The SCOTUS ruling on mifepristone means the abortion pill will remain accessible to women.

6 days ago

FILE - Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, speaks during a news conference outside the Capito...

Mariah Maynes

Jury deliberations begin in Hunter Biden trial

The jury has begun deliberating upon whether Hunter Biden is guilty of three federal firearms charges.

9 days ago

A child and two adults load things into a white truck....

Mariah Maynes

Today is Secure Your Load Day. So, what does that mean?

Secure Your Load Day is June 6. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, it aims to raise awareness of the dangers unsecured loads.

13 days ago

hispanic businesses immigrants growth...

Don Brinkerhoff

Why there’s financial hope for Gen Z

We're living in financial stressful times, Gen Z has reason to be hopeful about their financial future.

19 days ago

donald trump...

Simone Seikaly

Utah responses to Trump guilty verdict

Reaction to the Trump verdict in Utah ranged from making a mockery of the U.S. justice system to reaffirming that nobody is above the rule of law.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

2023’s problems and peeves are bid a symbolic farewell at pre-New Year’s Times Square event