The start of spring brings with it a new annual festival in Tucson. Moctoberfest is a community carnival that showcases local artisans in a street fair setting.
Nadia Hagen, the artistic director of Flam Chen and the All Souls Procession, said MoctoberFest is the primary fundraiser for the All Souls Procession, and this year 100 percent of all profits are going to fund the October events.
“We didn’t want to wait until the last minute to start fundraising,” Hagen said.
The event features many of the artists and performance groups that participate in the All Souls Procession, but MoctoberFest has a decidedly more lighthearted theme.
“We wanted to have something that was more like a festival of life to book-end our festival of death,” she said.
Ruben Palma, one of MoctoberFest’s organizers, said the event incorporates themes associated with spring. Samba music and dance, normally associated with Brazilian Carnaval, play prominently in the performance portion of the festival.
“It kind of serves as the antithesis to the All Souls Procession,” Palma said. "We’re kind of half way through the year from the All Souls Procession."
The All Souls Procession and MoctoberFest are events that organizers hope will help rekindle what they refer to as a "festal culture." The events provide opportunities for the community to come together in a shared space and participate communally in a culturally relevant tradition.
“Festal culture, at the root, has so many things in common,” Hagen said. “People celebrate in the common space, and use handicrafts and folklore, costuming and music – those things are through-lines in everybody’s culture.”
Moctoberfest 2014 takes place on Saturday, March 29 from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento.