About 100 people came together in Georgetown Sunday night and formed a circle to celebrate the diversity and unity in their community.
The gathering was called Song and Light for Humanity and was coordinated fairly recently. Nick Ramos and Mark Skrabacz both live in Georgetown and wanted to start 2017 the right way.
"It's a tight community here," Skrabacz said. "People know one another and they care about each other."
Sunday's event consisted of the group making a large circle and singing five songs together. Everyone who attended was asked to bring a light of some sort as well. The group also was encouraged to meet others around them, getting to know their neighbors.
"We're all sisters and brothers here," Skrabacz said. "It's important we know the people in our community and find common ground between each other."
Clifford Brown is an Air Force retiree and is not only new to Texas but to America as well.
"We moved here from Britain in 2008," Brown said. "Texas is a very interesting place."
Brown picked Georgetown to be near his niece, who lives in Round Rock. He said he quickly discovered he was living in a community he really enjoyed.
"You run into people here who are really nice," Brown said. "They're really genuine, and I like it."
Ramos said during a time when it's easy to go without direct connections and conversations because of the way social media has shaped parts of our society, having purposeful gatherings like Sunday's is more important than people might think.
"Take the time to know your neighbor," Ramos said. "Take the time to understand a different opinion."
Skrabacz and Ramos also said they felt the need to coordinate this "Song and Light for Humanity" to combat some of the worry spreading across our country.
"There's a lot of anxiety going on, and when you're in an anxious system, it takes a group of people to be a less anxious presence," Skrabacz said.
"Hug someone," Ramos said. "Love someone. Smile to someone. That would be a pretty good start to the year."
Sunday was a day that was particularly special for Brown as well.
"It's my birthday today and I love it today," Brown said. "It's been a gorgeous day and Happy New Year, America."
The gathering only lasted about 45 minutes, but by the end, most of those in attendance ended up sticking around and talking to others who were there as well.