Category: Media & Culture / December 28, 2012 3:27 PM EST
New Yorkers came out to Times Square on Friday (December 28) to participate in the sixth annual Good Riddance Day event.
A giant shredder, along with a rubber mallet and dumpster were made available for the public to discard and destroy unpleasant memories from 2012 and mark a fresh start for 2013.
Adam Ingber of Long Beach, New York was the winner of the on-line Good Riddance Day contest and kicked off the shredding event.
Ingber and his family were displaced when Hurricane Sandy hit the densely populated U.S. northeast region killing at least 131 people.
The super storm leveled entire beach towns, flooded subways and tunnels, paralyzed the nation's financial capital and knocked out power to 8.5 million customers in 21 states.
As the winner Ingber received a check of $2,500 (USD) from the organizers that will help him start rebuilding his life.
He said that shredding the memory of Sandy was cathartic.
"It definitely gives us a feeling of closure. We moved into a new place last week. And you know, I don't have to go back to my old apartment building anymore so it's nice not have to look at that and nice not to see a 30 foot pile of sand outside my door every day," Ingber told Reuters.
People were encouraged to write their bad memories on site and to put it in the giant shredder.
Among them was Kim Rossi, whose community was also hit hard by hurricane Sandy.
"I want to get rid of the sand and water that washed away our community and get our lives back, our homes back and our community back," she said.
Katherine Sulenski was ready to get rid of her bad relationship.
"The memory of the guy I dated. He stepped on my heart. I'd rather - I am ready to continue on without him," she said.
The New Year's celebration will continue in Times Square on Monday (December 31) when a giant ball will drop to ring in 2013.
The event will be broadcasted live and according to organizers will reach one billion people across the globe.