By Stephanie Lew, Buffalo Exchange Tucson
Every fall, the spirit of Tucson gathers for an organic experience. The All Souls Procession (November 9, 2014) invites everyone to join in celebration of loved ones past including animals and celebrities. In 1990, local Tucson artist Susan Johnson created a ritualistic performance in memory of her late father. Many artists were so touched by her performance that they joined together to continue the Procession. Now over 100,000 participants come together in the downtown area to hold signs and create artistic floats in honor of those lost. Throughout the procession, participants’ and onlookers’ faces are painted with sugar skull designs channeling the true spirit of Dia de los Muertos. Makeshift bands join together and march throughout the Procession. Participants bring drums and tambourines to play along wherever possible. Rather than a sense of sadness you might find at a funeral procession, this gathering has an aura of remembrance, gratitude and most of all, a celebration of life and lives past.