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Lilacs Signal a Return to Normal

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.

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