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Provincetown Re-Rooters Day, 2020 – VIDEO

PROVINCETOWN – About 40 people, including a true hero, gathered with Jay Critchley on the chilly evening of January 7 to symbolically burn and purge away things from the previous year.

Critchley, an artist who created the Re-Rooters Day 37 years ago, runs it all by leading the group through what truly is a ceremony.

Mixing the serious with the humorous is something of a trademark of Critchley’s work.

The Re-Rooters Day Ceremony, better witnessed than read about, includes attaching notes and other paper items to an old Christmas tree and then burning it on a float in Provincetown Harbor.

There was even a group incantation that meant, according to a later email from Critchley, “Extractive democracy, linking the extraction of fossil fuels etc from earth with the extraction of our democracy. One ecology mirrors another.”

And there was drama.

The tree got a bit wet and Critchley needed more matches. A hero, in 35 degree weather, took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants, and ran out into the water with the matches that saved the day. A lot of bad stuff almost didn’t go up in smoke. But now 2020 has been saved.

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Cape Cod Wave

Cape Cod Wave is an online magazine covering the character and culture of Cape Cod. We feature long-form journalism, slices of Cape Cod life, scenic slide shows, and music videos of local bands playing original music.

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