Dennis Hopper Day
Dennis Hopper Day was first proclaimed by the 30th Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson on May 17, 2010. In 2014 Taos Pueblo recognized May 17th as Dennis Hopper Day annually. A proclamation of the people of Taos County and of the Town of Taos proclaimed May 17th to be hereto annually know as, Dennis Hopper Day and designated a street “Hopper Highway” after the counter-culture icon.
“Six years ago on May 17, 2010 I proclaimed a state holiday honoring Dennis Hopper. Dennis loved this state as much as I, so it seems fitting that I should say a few words in honor of his tremendous contributions. Dennis, from his first film, to his last, championed the Arts in New Mexico. He shot and filmed in New Mexico and inspired other fellow Artists and film makers to do the same. His life, journey, and social influence were visionary. He changed the way America thinks which changed the way America acts. Dennis Hopper is a friend, supporter and advocate of Indigenous Peoples in New Mexico and supports the State’s rich cultural diversity. It is fitting and an honor that the State of New Mexico extends appropriate recognition and deep appreciation to Dennis Hopper, a cultural icon and friend to many, for his artistic and cultural contributions to our State and to the entire world. I am proud to welcome you into our home. I hope you enjoy our hospitality. Thank you very much.”
– Bill Richardson, 30th Governor of New Mexico – Dennis Hopper Days 2016
“We the Red Willow People of the Taos Valley recognize May 17th 2014 as Dennis Hopper Day. Our fore fathers 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.”
– Taos Pueblo Governor, Clyde M. Romero
“Taos has a rich history of attracting accomplished artisans of all talents, and Dennis Hopper is one of the most exceptional. 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.’”
– Taos Mayor, Dan Barrone.
The 1st Annual Dennis Hopper Day
Marin Hopper, the daughter of the legendary actor, and the founder of the handbag line Hayward, shares her account of the first annual event, which featured a group motorcycle ride along the route of “Easy Rider.” The photographer Lisa Eisner captured the festivities as they unfolded.
The 1st Annual Dennis Hopper Day was celebrated on Saturday, May 17, 2014 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 Pueblo and State and local dignitaries, event producer Robby Romero, Dean Stockwell and Hopper family members, friends and special guests were in attendance.
May 17, 2014 marked the award-winning actor film-maker, artist’s 78th birthday. The day’s events included the first Annual Easy Rider Ride beginning in Rancho de Taos Plaza with a special reception and ceremony at Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage and a National Historic Landmark, that included a round dance with songs performed by Cruz Lujan, and concluded at the Historic Taos Plaza for a festive, crowd-pleasing gathering celebrating the memory of this extraordinary artist and his many contributions to the State of New Mexico. The evening ended with a motion picture screening of Dennis Hopper’s counter-culture iconic hit “Easy Rider”.
All event activities were free to the public. The Party on the Plaza included a live performance by The Damn Band voted “The Best Of Taos” with special guest Robby Romero featuring songs from the Easy Rider Sound Track. 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.” – Dennis Hopper’s character Billy in Easy Rider
“Dennis loved the land of enchantment and had a mystical connection to Taos,” said, Robby Romero who as a child lived with Mr. Hopper at the Mable Dodge Tony Lujan House in Taos and had a life-long familial connection to Hopper. Mr Hopper’s funeral and burial were in Ranchos de Taos, where he owned a residence for decades. Several area restaurants, in keeping with Dennis Hopper Day, served New Mexico cuisine that Mr. Hopper is known to have favored when dining out in Taos.
The 2nd Annual Dennis Hopper Day
The 3rd Annual Dennis Hopper Day
During the 70’s Hopper made his home here in Taos, buying the Big House that Tony Lujan had built for Mabel Dodge and filling it with family and friends for a constant party that went on for the entire decade.