When is the 2023 All Souls Procession?
All Souls Procession Weekend 2023 is November 3-5
The Procession of Little Angels at Armory Park Saturday 11/4, 2023 3pm till dusk
Dance of the Dead Concert 11/3-5, 2023 GET TICKETS
The All Souls Procession & Finale Ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 5, 2023. Assembling on Grande Avenue at 4pm and marching at 6 pm.
What is the route for the 2023 Procession?
What should I know before I come to the Procession?
Most everything you need to know is linked to or contained in our Procession Guide. Read it to be prepared!
You will be walking on city streets and an unfinished dirt lot. So wear comfy shoes, bring water, and you might want a flashlight. Please keep an eye out for each other! All of us are responsible for taking care of each other.
This area has very few public restrooms. There are port-a-potties at the gathering and Finale site along with a couple of other locations along the route and restrooms in the Mercado San Agustin. Local businesses may be happy to let you use a restroom if you are also patronizing their business.
If you want to push a float or a stroller, please do, but know that it takes a little work. The route is about 2 miles and we walk slowly. Consider starting further along the route if you need to.
If you are not walking in the Procession, but are watching from the sidewalk, please stay on the curb as the Procession approaches you. Once the Urn & taiko drums pass, feel free to step in and join the Procession if you would like.
At the Finale site, you will see a designated area for floats and groups that are going to participate in the Domo (walk across the stage). Do not enter this area unless you are a float or group planning to participate in the Domo.
Come and enjoy the experience in a way that works for you.
- Dress up
- Get out of your regular regimen and persona
- Make a mask, a puppet, an art installation, an altar, some way of honoring those who have gone before, who we remember, honor, release, and embrace.
The Procession is what you make of it. Allow yourself to flow into an experience of real community, where we interact in ways that are different, authentic to our nature, and open to our feelings.
While there is lots to look at during the Procession, it is not primarily a spectator event. You will have the deepest experience if you get involved, even if that’s something as simple as pinning a photo of a loved one to your shirt.
Be high, drunk, or in anyone else’s space in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
This event should be safe to bring a newborn infant to or your dear aging grandmother. What allows the magic to happen is for everyone to feel safe. It is your job to create this kind of space.
The moment we require help from police or any other authority to make sure that happens, we have lost something truly precious.
Respect the neighborhoods that are hosting us. Do not cut through yards or businesses. Pick up your trash. Be good neighbors.
Recognize this amazing opportunity to interact with each other in the streets in ways we would like the rest of the world to experience.
This does not mean an abandonment of responsibility: just the opposite. The freedom we can express during this event is EARNED through our responsibility. Anybody with a different agenda needs to go do that someplace else.
Where should I join the Procession?
The Procession is a highly participatory event. You can walk the whole route, sit on the sidewalk the whole time, or jump in and out–walking part of the route, watching for a bit, and then walking some more.
The gathering site is VERY crowded. If you have small children or dogs, are uncomfortable with large crowds, or just prefer a little more elbow room, it is probably not the best place for you. Instead, you may want to find a place along the route to watch or join the Procession as it passes by. And we recommend NOT sitting along the sides of Congress Avenue at the end of the route where things get congested. There are typically plenty of spaces along the route. No reason to crowd yourselves!
Remember that the Procession is a participatory event–it is not primarily designed for spectators. Rather, it is designed for participants. You are welcome to line up along the sidewalks to watch, but know that once the Procession arrives it is a flood of people, not a single-file line of marchers in the middle of the street. You may find that you can’t see much from the side of the street at that point.
Do I need to register to participate in the Procession?
Registration for the Procession is not required.
But if you have a musical group, a large group, or a large float, it can be helpful. Please fill out the Musical Crew Form. We will send you details closer to the Procession date.
Registration is meant simply to make sure musical groups are aware of their placement in relation to other musical groups–it wouldn’t do to have bagpipes and samba drums competing with one another–and proximity to other (non-musical) projects that may heighten the wonderful experience of the myriad of spontaneous collaborations that happen.
What are the guidelines for floats?
Put it on wheels, strap it to your back, wear it, put lights in it, walk or ride it, and keep it under 10 ft tall OR make it so it can lower and raise again to get under the low clearance areas and electrified street car lines.
For safety reasons, floats must be non-motorized. That is, they can be powered by bicycle, towed by a human, or even towed by a dog, but they cannot be powered by a car, truck, motorcycle, or other motorized vehicle.
Because of the overhead electrical lines, NO floats/puppets can be over 12 feet tall. And please be careful around the tracks and the streetcars. We may need to pause occasionally to accommodate the streetcar.
Where can I park?
Check out Park Tucson for Parking information
I’m coming from out of town, where should I stay?
There are many bed and breakfasts, hotels, and rentals available in the downtown Tucson area. A Google search will give you plenty of options.
We suggest supporting our Procession sponsors! And please tell them we sent you. 🙂
Places to stay:
Historic Hotel Congress a Tucson staple deep in the heart of downtown
The wonderfully restored and amazingly artistic Hotel McCoy -located very close to the Finale Site
One of Tucson’s newest Hotels is the AC Marriot
Just down the road from the Grand Finale Site is the newly redone TUXON
Just hundreds of feet from the Grand Finale site The Ramada by Wyndham
(Please let all of these fine organizations know we sent you please!)
Mollohan Castle – Amazing Tucson Property great for a group 6-8 people!
Triangle L Ranch is a magical property nestled among giant oaks and boulders in the high desert foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Set on fifty secluded acres, with lovely whitewashed adobe buildings dating from the 1880s, Triangle L Ranch offers comfortable accommodations, privacy, easygoing hospitality, and the charm of a historic ranch setting.
How do I get help with my costume/float/mask/altar/lantern/other art project?
The All Souls Procession Community Workshops are a great place to get inspiration, information, and guidance as you work on your project for the Procession.
Art and costuming workshops are free, but donations are appreciated and encouraged!
Where can I get my face painted?
We are encouraging participants to DIY their make-up this year in response to COVID. As number drop we will revisit public offerings for face painting and activities that include close contact.
What is the Urn and how do I put something in it?
The Urn is the large, sculptural, steel vessel that is pulled at the front of the Procession. The Urn is a receptacle for our mementos, prayers, messages, and remembrances of those we have loved and lost. Escorting the Urn, you will see the Urn Attendants —members of the Community Spirit Group. They are there to silently receive your messages and remembrances and place them in the Urn for you.
At the culmination of the Finale, the Urn is burned, and our collective hopes, prayers, love, grief, memories, tributes, and remembrances are consumed by the flames and dissolve into the ether.
- Feel free to use the paper form to write your remembrance on.
- Or you can bring your own pre-created offering.
- The Urn Ambassadors will walk ahead of the Procession with paper and pencils for anyone who didn’t bring their own.
- You can also submit a remembrance electronically on the Urn project page.
If you are not able to get your message to the Urn during the Procession, there will be Urn Ambassadors at the barricades surrounding the Finale stage during the prep time between the Procession and the Finale. You can pass your message forward to them and they will make sure it gets into the Urn.
Please do not get between the Urn and the Procession’s police escort or crowd up around the Urn as you walk. The Urn Attendants need to be able to get to all the people along the street to collect their messages and remembrances.
Remember that whatever you place in the Urn needs to be safe to burn. Paper is great. Plastics are not.
How can I get my loved ones’ photos into the projection?
There are multiple ways to memorialize our dead throughout the Procession: remembrances placed in the Urn, photographs we carry through the street, elaborate or simple art projects that hold deep personal significance.
And every year, we project photographs of the beloved dead onto buildings and the stage at the Finale Ceremony site. Anyone is welcome to submit a photograph to be included in the Ancestors Project—for projection during the Finale Ceremony and/or for inclusion in our All Souls Stories: This is Why We Walk Facebook albums.
How do I join in to walk across the stage at the Finale Ceremony?
The Finale Ceremony begins with the Cirque Domo, when floats, large & musical groups, and people with art pieces are invited to process across the stage. If that’s you, you will want to enter the Finale site by taking the Congress to Linda Ave route option (the “wheeled” option in the route map). Ushers will have a sign for the Domo entrance. Do not enter this area unless you are a float or group planning to participate in the Domo.
How can I get involved?
Everyone who is at the Procession can get involved by lending a hand the night-of: pick up trash as you leave the Finale site, help out people who need a hand, be kind to each other. We will all mourn or be mourned by everyone we love. Remember the deep human connection that is at the heart of the Procession and act from that place.
And, if you have a bit of time before the Procession, we are volunteer-run, volunteer-staffed. A bunch of unpaid people who believe deeply in what the Procession is about. So we definitely need you! Please fill out our volunteer application to be added to our volunteer mailing list and kept up-to-date on opportunities to join our crews.
You can also get involved in one of the many events and projects that lead up to and support the All Souls Procession. It’s not just one night!
I have a physical disability. Is there a place where I can watch the Finale Ceremony?
Yes, we have accessible seating near the Finale stage. Please view our route map for more information. Crowds are large so we recommend that you enter the Finale grounds and check in with our VIP Usher before 6:45PM. You will find the entrance on the right hand side near the front of the Finale stage.
How do I become a vendor for the Procession?
The Procession is a non-commercial event and we do not have vendors aside from sales that go directly to MMOS.
The Mercado District has a limited number of vendors—primarily food vendors—near the Finale site.
You can go HERE to fill out a vendor form for the Grand Finale Site in the Mercado District
What is the All Souls Procession’s connection to Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead?
The origins of the Procession are in the arts community of Tucson. For many years, the Procession was created by the community of performance artists and painters and sculptors of Tucson as a way to honor the dead. The masks and costumes and rituals and objects that they created had little to nothing to do with Dia de los Muertos. The timing was inspired by the many cultures that see this time of year as the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest—when the dead are closest to us.
As the Procession grew, more people came from different communities. Some of them kept making up new traditions. Others brought their traditions with them — whether those are drawn from Dia de los Muertos, Japanese Obon, Samhain, traditional Aztec ceremonies, or any other tradition.
So the Procession is not a Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Parade — though Día de los Muertos has become a strong thread in the Procession! Día de los Muertos is its own holiday with its own traditions, which we respect deeply. People are welcome to bring those traditions to the Procession, and many do, but the Procession is not — and never has been — trying to be an exclusively Día de los Muertos event.
How much does the Procession cost?
The Procession is FREE to attend, but far from free to organize! The Procession budget is currently about $160,000-$200,000 per year.
This figure includes approximately $60,000 for City police, barricades, and permits and $30,000 for production costs. Community arts workshops, artist and teacher stipends, and administrative costs add roughly another $30,000. We spend about $20,000 on merchandise and getting the word out.
Each year we budget $10,000 – $15,000 in capital investments to help make the Procession and Finale safer, more accessible, and more magnificent. Past investments have included a tower for the Urn to be placed on as it burns, thereby increasing safety and visibility, rigging for the aerialists to perform on, increasing safety; and a new Urn, increasing safety and creating a beautiful work of art.
How do I purchase tickets for the Finale Ceremony?
The Finale Ceremony is always free—though it is not free to produce! Donations to support this community-grown event are always appreciated. Sponsors who donate $1000 or more receive VIP tickets to our limited Sponsor seating area at the Finale Ceremony as a thank you for your generous support of the Procession and community.
Who pays for the All Souls Procession?
Most of the funding for the Procession comes from individual and small business donors. In other words, people like you. It truly is a community-owned event.
While we are working toward a time when we have money in the bank year-round, right now we operate hand-to-mouth. The Procession has proven too popular and has grown too quickly for us to keep up with the funding needs. We are getting closer and closer to getting ahead, however!
During the Procession, Ghost Buskers—the official All Souls Street Busking Fundraising crew—will be busking at the gathering point, along the Procession, and at the Finale grounds. They’ll have pedicabs, bullhorns, and signs to identify them. Please donate whatever you can to help support the Procession. We depend on the support of people like you!
What is Many Mouths One Stomach (MMOS)?
Many Mouths One Stomach is the 501(c)3 non-profit arts collective that is the parent organization of the All Souls Procession. Our intent is to create, inspire, manifest, and perpetuate modern festal culture: the expression and fulfillment of core human needs through public celebration, ceremony, and ritual.
Who runs the All Souls Procession?
The All Souls Procession is a volunteer-run and donation-funded event. The non-profit parent organization, Many Mouths One Stomach, is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers.
Almost all of the ushers, performers, technical staff, artists, workshop leaders, and behind-the-scenes workers who make the Procession happen are volunteers. In other words, people just like you who have stepped up to help make this event happen for our community.
The Procession does not happen without the community. If you put something in the Urn to burn at the end, if you walk with us pushing a rolling altar, if you drop money in the donation boxes, if you volunteer for a season helping construct an art project, teaching a workshop or helping us clean up…
YOU ARE A STAKEHOLDER!
Why doesn’t the Procession seek corporate sponsorship?
We feel strongly that the Procession should remain of and by the community. While a large corporate sponsor might alleviate many of our financial concerns, that funding is likely to come with requirements and obligations that do not align with our values. We are committed to local, community ownership of the Procession-Keeping this amazing walk of remembrance unencumbered by commercial interests.
This is a funerary event with inherently non-commercial intentions.
Why don’t you charge admission to the Finale?
We want the Procession to be accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay.
That said, while the Procession is FREE to participate in, it costs about $160,000 to produce. If everyone who attends donates a few dollars, the Procession will be completely paid for.
How did the Procession start?
The Procession had its beginnings in 1990 with a ritualistic performance piece created by local artist Susan Johnson, who was grieving the passing of her father.
Inspired by the creativity and joy of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos holiday, Johnson felt she should honor her father in celebration and creativity. She gathered a couple dozen friends and performance artists to join her, and they created their own ritual performance art piece to celebrate their loves and honor their grief.
The performance was very well received and many artists were inspired to continue growing the Procession into its modern incarnation.
When and Where is the After Party?
We are excited to host March Fourth at the MSA Annex (267 Avenida Del Convento) post Grand Finale. Get Tickets Here or DJ Herm and Friends at The Mercado San Agustin(100 Avenida Del Convneto)