The town and county of Taos has been in high spirits with celebration all around as they prepped up for the hosting of “Dennis Hopper Day” on Saturday (May 17). In a statement issued by the Taos Pueblo Gov. Clyde M. Romero, it was said that “We, the Red Willow People of the Taos Valley, recognize May 17, 2014, as Dennis Hopper Day. Our forefathers let Dennis shoot his film, ‘Easy Rider,’ in 1968 and he became friends with our Elders and People of the Pueblo. On May 17th, we will recognize Dennis Hopper Day annually.” Eagle Thunder Enterprises have taken the responsibility of presenting the day’s schedule of events.
The celebratory day begins after invitations have been sent out to all motorcyclists to ride in the first-ever “Easy Rider Ride.” The ride is for free however registration is required at dennishopperday.com. at 11 am, the bikers gather around the Ranchos de Taos Plaza, off State Road 68 near the old El Cortez Theater where Hopper lived at one point and the ride begins at 1 pm. From there, the riders travel south to Pilar, with the planned route going through the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument before turning north to reach the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The next scheduled stop is the Taos Pueblo where there is a gathering with representatives, family, and community. The Taos Pueblo Tribal Police and Taos County Sheriff are responsible for escorting the ride.
Taos Mayor Dan Barrone and officials also make a town and county of Taos proclamation in recognition of the event. In a press release, Barrone states, “Our town is proud to host this important and timely recognition of such a distinguished award-winning artist, actor, director, writer, philanthropist, and art collector who called Taos ‘home.’” Restaurants have also decided to contribute to the event by offering Hopper-inspired dishes, such Ranchos Plaza Grill and Old Martina’s Hall (both in Ranchos de Taos) and Alley Cantina off the northwest corner of Taos Plaza.