Stories By MELINA CASILLAS / Photos By ASHLEY MUNOZ
Tucson’s All Souls Procession began in 1990 when local artist Susan Johnson was mourning her father’s death and found comfort in the way death is celebrated during the traditional Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.
“From the beginning, it was different people’s ethnic groups, different cultures, but also it was all these different art forms put together,” Johnson writes on the All Souls Procession website.
The procession has grown to have more than 150,000 participants and stretches for two miles down Tucson’s downtown streets beginning at Sixth Avenue and ending at Mercado San Agustin.
This event is completely volunteer-based and participants are encouraged to donate to the local nonprofit organization Many Mouths One Stomach.
There is a ceremonial burning of an urn at the end of the procession that is filled with hopes, offerings and wishes for loved ones who have died.