The All Souls Procession is a unique Tucson tradition that draws locals and visitors to the downtown area every year in early November. It was created in 1990 as a ceremonial performance piece by Tucson artist Susan Johnson, and it was intended as a memorial celebration as well as an opportunity to bring people of different ethnicities and cultures together.
As the event has grown through the years, it has evolved to feature a greater variety of art, performances, and other creative mediums. The procession always ends with a finale performance featuring fire dancers and the burning of the Urn, which heads the procession. People are encouraged to write letters to the dead, prayers, or other thoughts and wisdom to place in the urn. Below is a look at what to know about All Souls before you attend.
Anyone can attend and participate.
The Procession is not intended to be a spectator parade. Anyone can walk with the procession, and attendees are welcomed to create floats, altars, puppets, and art installations honoring their own loved ones. Many visitors will find a place to watch the procession along the route and then join in themselves. It is requested that all guests respect the property of individuals and businesses along the procession route and respect the space and ceremonies of other participants.
Masks and costumes are welcome.
There is no required attire, but masks and face painting are customary for procession attendees. Some even wear elaborate costumes but remember to wear something comfortable if you do plan to walk with the procession.
Parking can be a challenge.
Because All Souls is a large event drawing thousands of guests, it can be a challenge to find parking near the procession gathering and at the end of the route. Public transit via Sun Tran and the Tucson Streetcar will be available on normally scheduled routes.
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