All Souls Procession returns after COVID-19 hiatus

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 6:25 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The 32nd annual All Souls Procession wrapped up Sunday, Nov. 7. The event welcomes thousands of participants to Tucson each year. It is a mourning and celebration of the lives of loved ones and ancestors.

After a COVID-19 postponement, this year means a lot more to some after losing loved ones throughout the pandemic.

Jeremiah and Angela Hackett are back for the event this year, but this time it has a different meaning.

They say, “COVID’s been rough for everyone and we lost my very dear friend’s mother this last year. Her name was Toni. Our good friend John also passed away last year. We always appreciate the parade and the procession, but this year it meant a little more. We want to come out and honor their lives and say that we miss them.”

The All Souls Procession is a way to remember and honor those who have passed. It’s a night of celebration with art, face painting, and music.

The procession itself is about two miles long and goes through west Tucson.

“People do the procession, a lot of them carry a picture of their loved ones that have passed on. So it’s like bringing them back into life with us for the day, and then their spirits are supposed to go back,” Alvira Gallego, who runs the face painting booth, says.

The All Souls Procession is for all communities. Each culture honors the lives lost in their own ways.

“It’s very inclusive and everybody is very supportive and wants to know who you’re here celebrating,” Christina Hunter says.

It’s her first time attending after losing her brother, Nick. The family hopes to bring awareness to safe driving and better awareness for motorcyclists.

Nick’s wife, Rachel Lipari says, “He was a caregiver in all regards. Very generous, sweet, handsome, fun, very missed and too young to go.”

The night ended with a ceremonial burning of an urn that holds offerings and wishes for those who have passed away.

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