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South Burlington neighborhood lights the way to 2022

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 11:40 PM EST
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People in South Burlington kicked off the new year with a glow parade.

About 75 people paraded through South Burlington’s Orchard Neighborhood on New Years Eve, shining light in the dark.

“It just brings people together,” organizer, Louis Godin, said of the event. “We have an amazing neighborhood here.”

“It’s joyous fun when we all get together and the side benefit is we’re doing good things for other people and feeding our souls at the same time,” said Brenda Withey, one of the parade’s grand marshals.

Decked out in lights, the community was celebrating the new year and Neighbors helping Neighbors, a project that’s raised over $110,000 for charity since its inception seven years ago.

That money has gone towards causes such as food drives and shelters.

“Anyone of us could find ourselves in times of need, so we’re taking the opportunity here to rally and help our neighbors around us,” said organizer, Jane Mitchell.

During the 1.3 mile walk, people took quick breaks at “cheer stops” along the route for treats and toasts to the new year.

“Let’s just kick the living bejeezers out of 2022,” Whithey said.

Participants said the spirit in this neighborhood shows just how much one community can do.

In Burlington, Church Street was also busy with people celebrating 2022. We asked people what they were looking forward to most in the new year and what parting messages they had for 2021.

“I’m hoping to get through next semester, full in-person, without COVID cases,” said Alli Tuden, a UVM student.

Kenneth Schlenker, who is visiting from Paris, is sending 2021 off with the message “Bye 2021, you weren’t so good, but 2022, you’re going to be incredible. Happy New Year everyone!”

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