Taos to celebrate Dennis Hopper weekend

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Dennis Hopper Day, presented by Eagle Thunder Enterprises in Taos, will be celebrated on Saturday with events throughout the day at locations from Ranchos de Taos to the Gorge Bridge and the Taos Pueblo, concluding at the Historic Taos Plaza. 

Taos Mayor Dan Barrone, state, local and Taos Pueblo dignitaries, event producer, Robby Romero and Hopper family members, friends and special guests will be in attendance. Saturday would have been the award-winning actor, filmmaker, and artist’s 78th birthday.

The day’s events include the first Annual Easy Rider Ride beginning in Rancho de Taos Plaza and concluding at the Historic Taos Plaza for a gathering, where special guests will celebrate the memory and commemorate Hopper’s many contributions to the state of New Mexico. 

The evening will conclude with a motion picture screening of Dennis Hopper’s counter-culture iconic hit “Easy Rider.” 

All event activities are open to the public. 

Additional information and motorcycle registration information is available at dennishopperday.com.

The Damn Band will be performing with special guests live on the Historic Taos Plaza beginning at 5 p.m. featuring songs from the Easy Rider Soundtrack.

The 1969 release of “Easy Rider” was the first time an independent film became an international blockbuster and marked Dennis Hopper’s directorial debut. 

“I never thought of myself as a freak, but I love to freak,” said Dennis Hopper’s character Billy in “Easy Rider.”

 “Dennis loved the land of enchantment and had a mystical connection to Taos,” said Native Rock recording artist, Robby Romero, who as a child lived with Hopper at the Mable Dodge Tony Lujan House in Taos and had a lifelong familial connection to the actor.
“Dennis had great admiration and respect for the Red Willow People and the multi-cultural artistic community that is Taos.” 

Hopper’s funeral and burial were in Ranchos de Taos, where he owned a residence for decades.

“Taos has a rich history of attracting accomplished artisans of all talents, and Dennis Hopper is one of the most exceptional,” said Barrone. “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.”

On Saturday, the art of renowned artist and Hopper friend, Larry Bell will be featured on public banners. Several area restaurants, in keeping with Dennis Hopper Day, will serve New Mexico cuisine that Hopper is known to have favored when dining out in Taos.

Additional activities, special guests and sponsors will be announced.

Other events include: 

• Dennis Hopper Commemoration Reception
at 5 p.m. Reception begins at the Historic Taos Plaza.
6 p.m.: commemoration and presentation.

• Reading of State Of New Mexico 2010 Proclamation signed by Governor Bill Richardson proclaiming May 17 Dennis Hopper Day.

• Town and County of Taos Proclamation: May 17 Dennis Hopper Day

• Announcement: Official Town and County Holiday unveiling of the Dennis Hopper Street designation and sign.

• 7 p.m.: Screening “Easy Rider” at the Old County Courthouse.