New Yorkers gathered to shred bad memories of 2016

December 28th was the annual good Riddance Day in New York's Time Square.

Crowds lined up to write down the things they want to leave behind them in 2016, and then toss it into a shredder.

The messages ranged from the poignant -- to the fanciful.

16 PHOTOS
Good Riddance Day 2016
See Gallery
Good Riddance Day 2016

A participant smashes computer parts with a hammer during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

Messages expressing bad memories or events are taped onto the side of a truck before they are shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

A participant places computer parts onto the ground before smashing them with a hammer during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

A participant throws a message into a trash can to be shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

A participant waits in line to shred papers during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

A participant throws a message into a trash can to be shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

A woman reacts after throwing papers into a trash can to be shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

A message related to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is seen stuck on the side of a truck before being shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz)

Participants wait in line with papers they will shred during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year.

(REUTERS/Darren Ornitz

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Times Square New Year's Eve 2017 - Good Riddance Day at Times Square, Broadway Plaza on December 28, 2016 in New York City.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Many wanted to leave the memory of this year's bitter presidential campaign behind.

Good Riddance Day participant Diana Balan said, "I'm hoping for a different president and for Brexit not to happen. One can dream, no?"

"We're going to shred all the negative vibes from 2016 and hopefully we'll have a better, more united 2017," adds Nick Lanier.

Organizers say the idea came from a Latin American tradition of beginning the New Year by setting fire to objects that represent bad memories.

These people are getting a jump on that tradition and getting their bad memories out of the way before New Year's Eve, so they can begin 2017 on a positive note.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.