New Years Day is "Good Riddance Day" for Many in Time Square

Posted Jan 1, 2008 by W.V. Fitzgerald
As many joined in the Times square New Years eve celebrations others helped kick off the new "Good Riddance Day". A chance to say goodbye to last years tragedies and heartaches and start over fresh.
New years means a new beginning for most of us. Yes, the infamous news years resolution, we make them on the first day of January and usually break them by the second day. This year as many braved the crowds of Times Square to ring in the new year in traditional manner by watching the ball drop others braved the crowds at the industrial shredder brought in by the The Times Square Alliance to join in the first "Good Riddance Day" celebration. This is a new twist on an old Latin American tradition of taking artifacts from the previous year, making them into a giant doll, and saying goodbye to them by setting the doll on fire.
At Seventh Ave. and W. 46th St people lined up to take advantage of the somewhat more permanent "Good Riddance" celebration. Some shredded pictures of ex-wives or old boy friends while others shredded there mortgage that they had paid off in 2007. One man shredded pictures of his bloodied appendix taken after his surgery saying: "It's now been purged from my body," while another shredded a list of bad habits that included shoplifting.
Eileen Lawrence, a former school teacher from Manhattan, won the $250 grand prize for the "Most creative momento" by shredding a photo collage she had made of a Manhattan middle school principal who according to Lawrence had had made her life hell. She said "I'm currently an unemployed math teacher and am very, very happy."
This year marked the 100th anniversary of of ringing in the new year in Times square. At the stroke of midnight Mayor Michael Bloomberg released the ball with it's new environmentally friendly lights as the giant numerals 2008 are illuminated overhead and fireworks lit up the night sky. The times Square celebration was started in 1904 when Alfred Ochs, owner of the New York Times, decided to put on a fireworks display to mark the new year. Fireworks were later banned by New York city over security concerns, The ball was introduced and has rang in every new year since except for 1942 and 1943 when war time regulation did not permit it.
Happy New Year and "Good Riddance Day" to all.