ALL SOULS PROCESSION: TUCSON, ARIZONA
Tucson’s All Souls Procession is a spectacular, not-to-be-missed community event that provides an inclusive space and ritual for participants to mourn and honor their ancestors.
The event first began in 1990 as a performance piece by local artist Susan Johnson to grieve the passing of her father. Today, it has grown into a two-mile long human procession, 150,000 strong.
The organizers, Many Mouths One Stomach (MMOS), a Tucson-based collective of artists, teachers and community activists, designed the event to be wholly inclusive. Participants may integrate the traditions of their own creeds and cultures, or create their own meaningful rituals. Spectators will notice elements of ancient European, Japanese, and Roman Catholic traditions. However, the strongest influence comes from the Tucson’s Mexican-American community and their vibrant Día de los Muertos festivities. As such, participants often paint their faces like skeletons and dress in traditional Mexican styles. Regardless, there is no dress code; participants may dress in a way that honors their ancestors, or wear street clothes.
WHEN AND WHERE
On November 3, 2019, at 4pm, participants and spectators will begin to gather on Grande Avenue, south of Speedway Boulevard. There will be food trucks, craft tables, and face painting available on site. An urn is included for participants to place notes and remembrances of their loved ones which will be ritually burned for the events’ finale. The procession begins at 6pm with the urn, then floats, musical groups, taiko drums, and dancers. Participants are asked to follow. Though the event is free, official Ghost Buskers will be present to accept donations for defraying the expense of the event.
While the evening may seem boisterous, spectators are asked to be respectful. The evening is a family-friendly event that is filled with individuals honoring their loved ones.
The final ceremony will be held between the Santa Cruz River and Mercado San Agustin. The celebration will include music and over 100 performers, including the spectacular Flam Chen, Tucson’s own acrobatic and pyrotechnic circus performers.
The All Souls Procession is a creative, vibrant reminder that death is a part of life, and that we may find comfort in our loss through community celebration, understanding and acceptance.
For the most updated information, be sure to visit the All Souls Procession website: https://allsoulsprocession.org/all-souls-procession-weekend-guide/