NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The year 2020 was a real doozy and 2021, well, was more of the same.

So Tuesday’s 15th annual annual “Good Riddance Day” in Times Square was likely needed more than ever before.

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It marked a time to write down bad memories from the last year and say goodbye. It’s all about wiping the slate clean for the next year, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported.

Perhaps the best visual representation of 2021 was the burning trash can in the middle of Times Square.

“We are burning the negativity from the previous year,” one person said.

There’s usually a massive shredder to discard what is written down, but they went with a fire pit this year, because, well, “Obviously the last couple of years, but especially this one, has been pretty bad,” said Gary Winkler of the Times Square Alliance, which hosted the event.

People from all over come to the “Crossroads of the World” to write down unhappy, unpleasant or downright unwanted memories from this year, and then toss them in the incinerator.

It was a sort of purge of negativity to start off the new year.

The most common theme this year, by far, was the COVID-19 pandemic, and everything that has come with it.

“I would like to get rid of COVID, quarantine, virtual teaching and learning,” one person said.

“I’d like to get rid of not being able to see my friends because of COVID,” added Hope Myers of Rhode Island.

For one ICU nurse from Nashville, the last two years have been hell. So she came to say good riddance to 2020 and 2021.

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“And being the only person there when these people die is the worst part of my job, and I just want it to end,” the nurse said.

It wasn’t all about COVID. Some people showed up with all kinds of bad vibes to burn.

“My school grades. I’d like to get rid of those,” said Parin Panji of New Jersey.

“I want to get rid of the people in my life who don’t make me feel like my best self,” Keira Myers said.

“I’m burning toxic men away,” added Florence Sirico of the Lower East Side.

Plenty of ex-flames went up in flames as well, along with global warming and countless other blunders, regrets and failures.

“Just the bad memories. Looking forward to the future,” one person said.

The event kicked off the annual Times Square New Year’s festivities, which are scaled back again this year because of the pandemic.

So out of the ashes of 2021, many are hoping 2022 comes with a silver lining.

The FDNY was at the event to make sure it was safe for everyone involved.

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CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team