Ringing in a new year is always a great time for a fresh start and to let go of things you don't want in your life. Cares, worries, bad habits and past mistakes.

The goal of Missoula's Burning Mini Van event is to help you do just that. Why is it a mini van? Because the event originated with a group of local moms who invited the public to help them burn a mini van, as it represented a lot of what they resented being portrayed as in the community.

The Learning Center at Red Willow, along with Flanagan Motors, are putting on this year's Burning Mini Van public event with a focus on suicide awareness. Come out and support your friends and neighbors and burn something of your own on New Year's Eve from 9 to 10 p.m. The burning will take place in the parking lot at the intersection of Pattee and Broadway, kitty corner from the downtown Post Office.

Google Maps
Google Maps

In the past people have written their worries down on paper and thrown it into the fire, one woman even threw her wedding dress in after her divorce. Here's more from the event coordinators:

We would like to invite everyone to stop by and throw something into the fire. We will torch the vehicle at 9pm on December 31 in the parking lot on Broadway across from the Russell Smith District Courthouse.

This event started 4 years ago as a way to help increase suicide awareness in Missoula by having a ritual to unburden ourselves.

A replica of a vehicle has been constructed by Flanagan Motors. There is plenty of room on the back of the “van” for items that represent cares, worries, concerns that we no longer wish to carry. First Night was chosen as a time to “clean the slate” for the upcoming year by burning whatever represents that which you no longer need/want. Bring in the New Year by ridding yourself of the old!

For those who cannot join us in person, we have place collection boxes around Missoula. These boxes will be collected and tossed into the fire.

Boxes can be found at local businesses around town including Drum Coffee, Enlyten Lab Float Center, Imagine Nation Brewing, The Women's Club, The Learning Center at Red Willow, Downtown BodyTalk Office (210 N. HIggins, Suite 202), Debra Shorrock and Tara Lee Leonard Massage, 715 Kensington, Suite 2D.


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