Inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos holiday, Susan Kay Johnson felt she should honor her father's passing in celebration and creativity. The performance was very well received and many artists were inspired to continue growing the Procession into its modern incarnation.
Today we find ourselves organizing over 20,000 participants on the streets of downtown Tucson for a two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the finalizing action of burning a large urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes of the public for those who have passed. Inside the event are myriads of installation art, altars, performers, and creatives of all kinds collaborating for almost half the year to prepare their offerings to this amazing event. The All Souls Procession, and now the entire All Souls Weekend, is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.
That night, Calexico played a show at the Rialto, & filmed a video/documentary in honor of Tucson's original holiday/street procession. I wasn't there, I was working. But, if I were not working, ten bucks I woulda been there.
(Muralist Joe Pagac did this piece on the eastern wall of the Rialto Theater. Bellissimo!