- I was expecting it to be much more Mexican or Mexican-American and much more centered on honoring the departed. The Downtown/Fourth Avenue crowd, which often looks a little skeletal and sunken-eyed even without masks and makeup, was very represented. It appeared that there were as many parading just to parade as there were parading for holiday-specific reasons. There's nothing wrong with that, but again, not what I was expecting.
- It's clear that some worked on costumes for weeks or months.
- If I had to compare the parade with anything, it would be the carnival parades in New Orleans, specifically the neighborhood/club krewes and half-formal "Krewe de Vieux" march that come out on Mardi Gras day. It has the same autochthonous and non-hierarchical structure.
- If you have a tiny camera with a short lens and can't get a shot from where you're standing, please don't run out into the parade to snap pictures; you mess things up for the rest of us. Use your zoom or crop.
- The parade is used to honor not just relatives and friends but other things that have died, sometimes as protest. Drug war victims and "Macho B" the unnecessarily-killed jaguar both were represented--Macho B both by a lone marcher and a group of at least 30. Also mourned was the better of the two local papers, the Tucson Citizen.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Tucson Day of the Dead parade
In my seventh November in Tucson, I finally made it to a Day of the Dead/All Soul's parade. A few impressions: