The All Soul’s Procession 2016

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.

 


Evangelina Dominguez has been coming to the All Souls Procession for more than 20 years, memorializing someone each year. “This year I thank God I don’t have to,” she said. Dominguez came with her daughter, Natalie Islas, who was memorializing her brother-in-law who died earlier this year. Dominguez has been a widow for 25 years. “Every time somebody passed away, like my husband, I mourned them for two years and wore black.” She said the All Souls Procession is about closure. “Even though I’m crying, it makes me feel good because I think about them all the time and this helps.”

Evangelina Dominguez has been coming to the All Souls Procession for more than 20 years, memorializing someone each year.
“This year I thank God I don’t have to,” she said.
Dominguez came with her daughter, Natalie Islas, who was memorializing her brother-in-law who died earlier this year.
Dominguez has been a widow for 25 years. “Every time somebody passed away, like my husband, I mourned them for two years and wore black.”
She said the All Souls Procession is about closure. “Even though I’m crying, it makes me feel good because I think about them all the time and this helps.”


Participants gather at an urn filled with messages for loved ones before the burning.

Participants gather at an urn filled with messages for loved ones before the burning.


Representation of social issues is present during the procession Sunday evening.

Representation of social issues is present during the procession Sunday evening.


Locals bring their best outfits to the annual event All Souls Procession.

Locals bring their best outfits to the annual event All Souls Procession.


This year was the third year coming to the All Souls Procession for Kessa Burke and her mother, Mia Burke. They were joined by Kessa Burke’s friend, Bri Rodriguez. Kessa and Mia Burke were at the All Souls Procession to remember Saskia Burke, their sister and daughter. She was murdered at age 18 in 2012. “This is a very honest and respectful procession that we get to celebrate in every year that we can,” Kessa Burke said “It’s full of nice people who respect everything that has happened. It means a lot to us.”

This year was the third year coming to the All Souls Procession for Kessa Burke and her mother, Mia Burke. They were joined by Kessa Burke’s friend, Bri Rodriguez.
Kessa and Mia Burke were at the All Souls Procession to remember Saskia Burke, their sister and daughter. She was murdered at age 18 in 2012.
“This is a very honest and respectful procession that we get to celebrate in every year that we can,” Kessa Burke said “It’s full of nice people who respect everything that has happened. It means a lot to us.”


Local artist PaulaCatherine Valencia looks haunting in a traditional Dia de los Muertos costume at Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession. Valencia is part of a local band, Crystal Radio. She can be found on YouTube and can be supported on Kickstarter.

Local artist Paula Catherine Valencia looks haunting in a traditional Dia de los Muertos costume at Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession. Valencia is part of a local band, Crystal Radio. She can be found on YouTube and can be supported on Kickstarter.


The All Souls Procession brings together a mother and daughter in remembrance of a family member.

The All Souls Procession brings together a mother and daughter in remembrance of a family member.

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