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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tucson businesses unite to fund All Souls procession

    As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to remember what all of the days off work, colorful decorations and waistline-threatening feasts really mean: celebration of community. There is nothing more central to the spirit of the season than the Tucson-made-and-funded All Souls Procession.

    According to Ben Schneider, the organizer of the Night of the Living Fest, the annual parade and celebration of life has few major sponsors and relies mainly on fundraising and donations.

    This year, Many Mouths One Stomach, the group organizing the All Souls Procession, works with Tucson’s Fourth Avenue Merchants Association to fund the event. From Nov. 4-6, a number of businesses around the Fourth and Sixth Avenue area host sales to fund donations to benefit this year’s All Souls. They call the event 4th for All, after the sentiment of the all-inclusive community effort.

    So far, 19 local businesses plan to participate. Zoe Boutique will donate 5 percent of all sales, Creative Ventures will donate 10 percent of all sales and Silver Sea Jewelry will donate 20 percent of all sales during 4th for All. 4th Avenue Delicatessen also plans to donate 10 percent of its sales Nov. 8, with Delectables doing the same Nov. 4.

    Alternatively, many Fourth Avenue businesses host pre-All-Souls special events for those who can’t wait until the spooky sugar-skull and skeleton march.

    For all three days of 4th for All, D&D Pinball donates 100 percent of the profits from its Freddy: a Nightmare on Elm Street and Tales from the Crypt pinball machines to the All Souls Procession. A variety of other Halloween-themed machines increase the spooky spirit, including the Addams Family, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Twilight Zone, Creature from the Black Lagoon and even a brand new Walking Dead cabinet.

    Constance Negley, co-owner of the arcade with her partner Robert Noble, said she has participated in the procession for many years and considers it “the top event in Tucson.”

    Maintaining this top event is difficult, though, and collaboration within the community is the only way it will be able to continue. As Schneider said on the scale and organization of the Night of the Living Fest, “We’re going to see how this year goes and see how we can pull off next year.”

    The only sure-fire way to keep the magnificently macabre, all man-powered march going is to take action and help out. Flower Shop on 4th Ave., Downtown Swank Parlor, Art by Gailee, Jellywink Boutique, BLX skateshop and Celestial Rites are all hosting donation drop-boxes to help keep All Souls Processions alive in Tucson. People can also donate on AllSoulsProcession.org.

    Negley said people should donate not only to keep the Tucson tradition alive and the Halloween celebrations rolling, but also to celebrate “in honor of those who have passed.”


    Follow Cullen Walsh on Twitter.


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