See below for link to program guide
The All Souls Procession is perhaps one of the most important, inclusive and authentic public ceremonies in North America today. The Procession had its beginnings in Tucson, Arizona in 1990 with a ceremonial performance piece created by local artist Susan Johnson. Johnson was grieving the passing of her father, and as an artist, she found solace in a creative, celebratory approach to memorializing him. Says Johnson, “From the beginning, it was different people’s ethnic groups, different cultures, but also it was all these different art forms put together.”
After that first year, many artists were inspired to continue, growing the Procession into its modern incarnation. Today we find ourselves organizing well over 150,000 participants on the streets of downtown Tucson for a two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the ceremonial burning of a large Urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed.
Myriad altars, performers, installation art, and creatives of all kinds collaborate for almost half the year to prepare their offerings for this amazing event. The All Souls Procession, and now the entire All Souls Weekend, is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones and ancestors.
The day before the big Procession, a more intimate Procession takes place in Armory Park. The park fills with children and families, gathering to paint wings, create paper flowers, get their faces painted, dress in costumes created at our kids’ costuming workshops, and approach grief from a child-friendly, child-driven place. As the sun sets, children and families process around the park and participate in a Finale, where Stories that Soar!, Tucson Circus Arts and this year The Tucson Girls Chorus, will team up to perform local children’s stories about death and grief, and as the sun sets, everyone processes around the park.
All ages are welcome. Throughout the park, shrines to remember the dead have been set up by people who want to memorialize someone, as the Personal Altars Vigil/Children’s Altar takes place in conjunction with Little Angels. And everyone is welcome to place a remembrance of a child on the Children’s Altar.
Free to attend, but donations help defray the cost of art supplies, permits, and infrastructure.