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Montecito’s annual Beautification Day brings out volunteers

Montecito is a whole lot cleaner this weekend thanks to more than 100 volunteers who attended the 33rd Annual Beautification Day.

Volunteers and community members gathered at Montecito’s Upper Village early Saturday morning.

They fanned out across the area, tidying up and picking up trash along local beaches.

This year’s theme was “Better Together.”

President of the Montecito Association, Charlene Nagel said the event first started as an opportunity to clean up Montecito after Halloween when candy wrappers were littered everywhere.

But, decades later, the event has evolved into so much more.

“It’s so huge and so wonderful, and we love having the entire community come in and pick up trash,” Nagel said.

Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade Founder Abe Powell was on hand to help direct volunteers.

The organization has been directly involved in the clean-up and rebuilding of Montecito since the debris flow on Jan. 9.

Powell also received four Citizen of the Year awards from local leaders during the event.

“The most important lesson is when the mountain comes down on you, the community has a choice,” Powell said. “If they choose to pull together to work in solidarity to get through the challenge, together we can move mountains.”

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