All Souls Procession celebrates life, death

Story by Stephanie Missouri

Photo by Gabi Piña

Since 1990, the All Souls Procession has provided Tucsonans with a unique opportunity to mourn the loss of loved ones while celebrating life.

The procession is inspired by Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) but has a vibe all its own.

Everyone is invited to share in the celebration on Sunday, Nov. 7. Participants are encouraged to wear a costume that expresses the spirit and culture surrounding Dia De Los Muertos.

To join, gather at 5 p.m. at the Epic Café on Fourth Avenue at University Boulevard. The procession leaves at about 6 p.m. on a two-mile route through downtown.

The Grand Finale, in which an urn is set on fire, takes place at about 9 p.m. The urn is filled with slips of paper on which people write the names of deceased loved ones.

Tucsonan Susan Johnson started the procession after going through a period of mourning for her deceased father. Many Mouths One Stomach, a non-profit arts collective, organizes the procession now.

The event attracts more than 20,000 local residents in costume, street performers, stilt walkers, fire dancers, aerialists and other creative individuals.

Additional information can be found on the procession’s website,

2009 Procession - Aztec Press photo by Gabi Pina

Upcoming events honor ‘All Souls’

A variety of events are planned  in advance of the All Souls Procession on Nov. 7. A sampling:

All Souls Procession Costume Fashion Show

Thursday, Oct. 28

7-10 p.m.

415 and 417 N. Fourth Ave.

Show Your Soul Epic Café Art Show

Through Monday, Nov. 1

6 a.m. to midnight daily

745 N. Fourth Ave.

Procession of Little Angels

Saturday, Nov. 6

3 p.m. – Kids art activities

5 p.m. – Kids finale workshops

6 p.m. – Procession begins

6:45 p.m. – Little Angels Finale

Armory Park at Sixth Avenue between 12th and 13th streets

Little Angels is a family event acknowledging and celebrating deceased loved ones from the perspective of the child.

All Souls Photo Exhibit – “Rebirth”

Saturday, Nov. 6

7-10 p.m.

Studio 455, 455 N. Ferro Ave.

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