If you haven’t heard by now, Taos does things differently than most other places. And one of our proudest traditions is our month-long holiday celebration known as Yuletide in Taos. Yuletide is the entire holiday season that includes every unique New Mexico tradition you have and haven’t heard of.
They say Yuletide begins each year on Thanksgiving, but Taoseños feel the holiday season spirit when Taos Folk pops up at Stables Art Gallery on November 18. Taos Folk is all things festive in classic Taos fashion, including local handmade goods from jewelry to candles.
The festivities officially ramp up for the 36th Annual Yuletide Tree Lighting in Taos Plaza on December 2. Mayor Maestas will flip the lights on with the entire Taos community and celebrate December in northern New Mexico.
While the entire month is an experience unlike any other, the most magical holiday event is on the holiday itself. The Christmas Eve Procession at Taos Pueblo features large bonfires and countless farolitos to light up the parade in a spiritual event of heritage and community. On Christmas Day, the ancient ceremonial Taos Pueblo Deer or Matachinas Dance honors the depths of winter. But sorry, no cameras or phones are allowed. Perfect to experience this ceremony with your own two eyes in the moment.
Yuletide in Taos wraps up with the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Watch skiers glide down Taos Ski Valley holding torches under the starry skies while fireworks illuminate the brightness and joy another Yuletide brought to our community. But don’t just read it from us! See Yuletide in Taos for yourself this holiday season.
One of the most captivating human spectacles Taos has to offer is back this weekend! The 39th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is back this year for three dawns in October. Each morning after dawn from Friday, October 28 to Sunday October 30, hot air balloons will light up the colorful desert sky. This event, repeated every year since 1983, is enjoyed by Taoseños and travelers from far and wide.
On Friday, the initial “Mini-Ascension” will commence at 8am, followed by tether rides for the kids a few minutes later. From 5pm to 9pm, we’ll have a Meet & Greet with the pilots and sponsors. While New Mexico is famous for its sprawling hot air balloon spectacles, the Taos Rally is a more intimate event, with 35-50 crews invited each year.
On Saturday is the first Mass Ascension launch, where all the crews take off and dot the skies for nearly an hour and a half. Taos is out and about all day, with “Balloomenshine” capping off the day’s festivities around 5:30pm. Because the Rally happens each year on the last weekend of October, every Saturday, the kids come around and “basket or treat” at each balloon.
To finish a memorable weekend strong, one last Mass Ascension takes flight around 7:45am on Sunday. Closing Ceremonies thank everyone for coming out to the TMBRA field on Albright Street behind the Taos County Court House. We hope you plan on stopping by and burning the ignition on both ends this weekend from dawn til dusk. You can’t miss it. Just look up.
For a town that prides itself on its colorful artwork and personalities, it only makes sense that springtime in Taos explodes with shades of purples, violets and blues. With spring comes the blooms of lilac bushes covering the entire Taos Valley, making this time of year arguably the prettiest. It only makes sense that the annual Taos Lilac Festival takes place in late May as well.
The history of how lilacs arrived in Taos is an uncertain one. Anecdotes of early settlers bringing them over from Europe scatter from the 1850s to the 1910s, with many different names bearing the gifts. What began as an invasive species slowly turned a monochromatic early Taos into a flower garden of lush proportions.
Since then, Taos has decided to celebrate this milestone annually with the Taos Lilac Festival. Well, annually except for last year, of course. Each year features a lilac gardening center with seminars, arts & crafts fair, wine & food garden, Lilac 5K race, Taco Cook-off, Vintage Car & Truck show, and much more.
While the Taos Lilac Festival is back for 2021, it looks a little different. This year, what events are unable to occur are made up in the length of the celebration. All throughout May, the 2021 Taos Lilac Festival will feature a walking tour of window decorating contest from over 20 downtown businesses. The walking map found here makes a wonderful tour of downtown Taos and the entire region’s natural beauty.
The Taos Lilac Festival is officially the first outdoor festival in Taos since the pandemic. The return of these flowers represents the return of more enjoyable moments to come. Because while the Lilac Festival may not be in full until next year, mother nature doesn’t wait for anyone. Come take a drive through to see–and smell–for yourself.
Need another reason to celebrate Taos? There couldn’t be a better time than now, in the peak of ski season. From January 30 – February 2, Taos will be the center of the wine world, as the 34th Annual Taos Winter Wine Festival will be underway in the Taos Ski Valley. Featuring more than 150 unique wines from 40 different wineries and a dozen of the finest Taos chefs providing paired meals, this is the weekend to be in Taos.
Get to know some of our favorite wineries in this year’s Grand Tasting events!
Bodegas Protos first vintages both won gold medals at the Universal Exposition of Barcelona in 1929 and most recently won “Best Young Wine in Spain” for its Protos Verdejo in 2019.
Bartholomew Broadbent has been named in the top fifty most influential people in the wine world multiple times, displaying his vast impact on the planet’s wine culture.
The Frank Family’s iconic Larkmead building appears on the National Register of Historical Places and is listed as a Point of Historical Interest in California for its symbolism of the state’s heralded Napa Valley wine country.
Founder Frederick S. Wildman, Sr. developed such a deep love for French wines while serving as first lieutenant in the Second Division of the U.S. Army in World War I that after Armistice Day on November 11, 1918, he stayed in France for six more months to learn as much about vineyards as possible before his discharge.
José Pastor Selections have an impressive portfolio of reviving endangered grapes and growing techniques from the Iberian Peninsula as well as even the forgotten Canary Islands.
Scot Bilbro’s Marietta Cellars is a second-generation vineyard with almost every worker having 10 years under their belt at the winery.
René and Laurence Schlatter, members of the proprietor family, grew up in the same small town in Switzerland but somehow never met until Laurence’s brother introduced them at the Merryvale tasting room.
Once & Future’s Zinfandel is crafted from the 128-year-old vines planted by George Hearst, the same pioneer of Bedrock Wine Co.’s roots, also run by the same family.
Bob Sinskey, founder of Robert Sinskey Vineyards, was in the midst of developing his vineyard land when one of his inventions from his career in medicine exploded on the scene and he had to put wine on hold until opening the winery four years later in 1988.
The original name for Sean Minor Wines was “Four Bears” because when the founders were tasting their favorite and least favorite aspects of different wines around the dinner table, their four children likened this practice to Goldilocks searching for just the right bottle.
Curious about the full schedule of events happening? Check this page out.
Have you ever wanted to take something home from a trip but didn’t want to overpay or end up with something less than meaningful? We know how you feel. That’s why we’re so proud to introduce Shop Local Taos!, the community’s annual campaign encouraging shoppers to show support for local businesses during the holiday season.
From November 29 to your last-minute holiday shopping on December 24, dozens of local businesses and hundreds of community members pitch in with great discounts while enjoying Taos’s unbreakable community comradery. Pick up a free Shop Local Taos! tote bag any time to receive at least a 10% discount on all things Taos!
You know about Small Business Saturday, but we do everything a little bit bigger in Taos. Especially when it comes to recognizing local artists and vendors. That’s why we dedicated a whole month to show our pride, teamwork and artist’s work. Whether it’s Southwestern ceramics from the John Dunn Shops or 3D paintings from Bent Street, your holiday shopping just got a little more interesting. To check out more campaign click here.
While we can all agree that winter can be fun, summertime here is really where we shine. From outdoor activities to fun events, there is everything to soak up the rays and entertain locals and travelers alike. Read up on our go-to events happening below!
Family-friendly, this is perfect for those looking for a little nostalgia with the Goonies or a newer film such as Mary Poppins Returns. Starting at 7 these features will be shown at Kit Carson Park and concessions will be available. So grab a blanket, and a pillow and enjoy this night under the stars with the big screen.
Every Thursday evening starting at 6 PM in the Historic Taos Plaza there will be featured music for all those looking for a good tune and time. The bands will range from Rock, country, folk, bluegrass, blues, swing and ranchero. Come ready to dance, watch and enjoy!
Featuring 35 artists, this entertainment group wants to show Taos new realms of experience through an immersive three-day event of live music, DJs, Installation art and performances. There will be single day passes as well as the full 3 day passes available to purchase.
The musical focal points will happen on two stages, The Spire and The Glade. The Spire stage is a citadel to inspire awe and wonder, a stage created for performers to play for their fans. The Glade is a meadow for people to hang out in and be a part of the show, oﬀering a casual and intimate habitat.
Three-day community event to celebrate diversity, increase awareness, and provide a safe place to be exactly who you are! After launching 8 years ago by local Robert Quintana, it has taken on the notoriety of being one big fabulous party. Come celebrate all that makes us unique, and sharing the belief that love is love.
Focusing on benefitting Stray Hearts Animal Shelter, this concert is back for its 10th annual year. It will feature top-notch talent locally and from farther away, this is sure to be a hit with a cause!
Now celebrating their 36th season, this will showcase work from world-renowned artists who will perform an impressive array of works from great classical, romantic, baroque and contemporary masters.
Wine tastings, food, hiking, live music and more will fill your weekend in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains! This will showcase the local wine-makers and provide plenty of entertainment (and drink) for travelers to cool down on a hot day.
When you’ve got a conscious heart and a passion for style what do you get? The Glam Trash Fashion Show combines art, recycling and fashion into a glamtastic all ages non-profit annual event.”
Going on its 17th year running, this festival has been known to host the big names as well as the up and coming ones. This will feature the best of Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, Singer-Songwriter and many more. Grab your boots, and an ear, and come check out the best in the country singing business.
For the art lovers out there, this one is for you! Local and visiting artists present experiential and participatory installations that harness art, science and technology for multi-sensory experiences. Thought-provoking installations centered around “Connections” will allow viewers to take a seat in the eye of the artist.
Over forty years ago a group of artists and gallerists fell in love with the idea of showcasing what Taos and the arts community had within it, and we’re sure happy they did. With a blend of cultures and mediums, the artists excite both locals and visitors with the opportunity to see the best Taos has to offer for both established artists as well as the up and coming ones.
Is there anything better than a multi-day celebration of food and wine in a winter wonderland? We think not.
Every year in Taos, visitors and locals alike savor the ability to combine world-class skiing with fine wines and great cuisine. This year’s Taos Winter Wine Festival, held Jan. 31-Feb. 4 in Taos Ski Valley and around town, will feature the culinary artistry found in Taos’ top restaurants coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries.
The event will feature more than 40 national wineries partnering with 24 of the area’s best restaurants and include Grand and Reserve Tastings ($95 each), chefs luncheons, winery seminars and wine dinners.
The Reserve Tasting is held Jan. 31, and will boast a dozen of Taos’ best restaurants serving signature appetizers alongside tastes of reserve wines from owners and winemakers from 36 participating wineries. It also features a silent auction of wine to benefit the Taos High School Culinary Arts Program. Get, and give!
The weekend culminates with the Feb. 2 Grand Tasting, where restaurants and wineries serve samples of their best food and wine.
See a full schedule of event or purchase your tickets at taoswinterwinefest.com.
The holidays are here, and Taos is ready to trim the tree during Yuletide in Taos. With the falling of snow on candle-lit farolitos that line the streets in front of old adobe shops and homes, you are transported to another time and place. Here’s what’s on tap for November.
CAV Annual Yuletide Arts and Crafts Fair
Nov. 23-25, 11-4 p.m.
The Sagebrush Inn and Suites
The 35th annual Yuletide Arts & Crafts Fair features the area’s finest craftsman and artists. Shop from a variety of sculpture, paintings, foods, textiles, jewelry, pottery and more.
Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 11-5 p.m.
Taos’ famous pop-up store returns with affordable and beautiful handmade gifts by Taos artisans.
31st Annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov 30, 4-6 p.m.
The 2018 Taos Holiday Season officially kicks off with the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree during the 31st Annual Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting. Come for the entertainment, and meet and greet special guests Mr. & Mrs. Claus (and even the Grinch!). Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
Photo credit: Taos.org
Come learn about our fascinating history! Presented by the son and daughter of the founders, Roger Blakey & Cyndi Blakey-Blotter will provide guests with a multi-media presentation of not only the El Pueblo History but their personal experiences growing up at the El Pueblo and Taos in the 50’s and 60’s.
Things to learn include:
• when the El Pueblo opened and with how many rooms
• what is the charm and culture of the El Pueblo, then and now
• what was Taos like in the 50’s and 60”s
• famous Guests that stayed at the El Pueblo in the 50’s
and much, much more… Starting at 5pm, October 26th in our lobby area! Refreshments will be served.
For the past eight years, the city of Taos, N.M., has celebrated counter-culture icon and actor Dennis Hopper. Best known for his roles in “Apocalypse Now” and alongside Jack Nicholson in “Easy Rider,” Hopper was a champion of the arts in New Mexico. Today, people from around the world gather in Taos in May to celebrate his contributions to art, film and the state he adored.
Hopper was a major Hollywood star throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, writing and starring in several high-profile films of the time. Despite the appeal of the Hollywood lifestyle, Hopper was a lifelong resident, advocate and enthusiast of Taos, leaving many Taoseños with great stories of his early and later years in the community. Hopper passed away from prostate cancer in May 2010 at the age of 74.
Hopper edited the film “ he Last Movie” while living at Los Gallos, a 22-room adobe house in Taos that he rechristened the Mud Palace and envisioned as a counterculture Hollywood.
Taos plans to celebrate the life of Hopper, a former Taos resident, with a celebration on May 17 — Hopper’s birthday and Dennis Hopper Day in New Mexico. This year’s Dennis Hopper Day celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. with the Rebel Film Festival Screening & Hopper Birthday Celebration and last throughout the weekend. From the popular Easy Rider Rally & Ride to a Buffalo Barbecue and Hopper Commemoration Concert, the weekend welcomes all Hopper fans to remember their hero. Even the restaurants of Taos will serve up Hopper’s favorite dishes in celebration of the weekend.
’Tis the season for yuletide in Taos! The holiday season marks a month of historic and unique New Mexican celebrations that transport visitors and locals alike to another time and place. While myriad holiday activities abound, here are a few of our festive favorites.
1. Taosfolk: Nov.24-Dec.24
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Taos’ famous POP-UP store is the perfect place to find affordable and beautiful handmade gifts by Taos artisans. Learn more at taosfolk.com.
2. Bonfires on Bent Street: Saturday, Dec. 9, 4-7 p.m.
John Dunn Shops and Bent Street
Enjoy bonfires, farolitos, luminaries, Aztec Dancers, carolers, Southwestern bites and cookies.
3. Christmas Eve Procession at Taos Pueblo & Christmas Eve Torchlight Parades: Christmas Eve
Sunset: Experience a one-of-its-kind event that features massive bonfires and the Procession of the Virgin with rifle salutes from the rooftops of the 1,000-year-old adobe pueblo buildings. Learn more at taospueblo.com.
6 p.m.: Watch as skiers make their way down the mountain in the dark — with flares as their only means of light. All the area ski resorts – Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, Sipapu, Enchanted Forest and Red River – have torchlight parades and fireworks during the holiday season. You can also view this rare spectacle pos New Year’s Eve.
4. Taos Pueblo Deer or Matachinas Dance: Christmas Day, 2 p.m.
Taos Pueblo Plaza
Witness the ancient Native American ceremonial dance honoring the depths of winter, as danced and drummed by the people of Taos Pueblo. Learn more at taospueblo.com.
5. Town of Taos New Year’s Eve Celebration: New Year’s Eve, 7:30-10 p.m.
Historic Taos Plaza
Watch the Times Square Countdown on a massive movie screen, a light show, fireworks, a pig roast, live music and more at this community New Year’s Eve celebration. Cheers!
Who’s ready to get spooked? This Halloween, Taos comes alive to celebrate the day where the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. It’s Halloween, and that means plenty of tricks and treats, thanks to an abundance of art, costumes, music, food and more. Here’s how you can join in on the fearful fun on Halloween day and night at the Taos Halloween Community Celebration.
Start your day by getting creature-creative at a free art program inspired by Halloween and Day of the Dead in the Taos Plaza. Come in costume and find the many skeletons in the Harwood Museum’s collection. You can even make a skeleton puppet or a shrine from a cigar box! Bring the whole family to enjoy this day filled with art making and other fun Halloween activities.
Next, from 3 to 6 p.m. check out Taos Plaza, Bent Street, John Dunn Shops and Teresina Lane for a Children’s Halloween Party. A live DJ, costume contests, carnival games, a haunted “house” and plenty of treats will keep the whole family in the Halloween spirit. All candied out? Wind down at Funky Sensations at Twirl for a tasty bowl of soup from SoulePOP — as well as some sensory surprises. We can’t think of a better place to get your “boo” on!