One month shy of its first full year, First Fridays is a hit with visitors, vendors and locals. First Fridays of each month from April to December are celebrated with pop-up …
One month shy of its first full year, First Fridays is a hit with visitors, vendors and locals. First Fridays of each month from April to December are celebrated with pop-up galleries, street performers, food carts, music, a pub crawl and stores opened late.
This Friday (Sept. 7) from 5 to 8 p.m., you can pub crawl from the Historic Taos Inn on the Paseo to Lambert's on Bent Street to The Alley Cantina on Taos Plaza, and while you're at it, you'll discover some of the best busking and shopping in Taos, with most of these businesses staying open late, till 8 p.m. (that's late in Taos), and getting into the spirit of things with refreshments, music and other entertainment.
"The development of Taos First Friday as a movement to promote a healthy artistic economy in Taos has been such a success," says Taos First Friday founder, Glam Trash promoter and Seconds Eco Store owner Sara Basehart. "The change we've really seen in 2018 is that the list of potential vendors who have signed up to participate has grown to over 100 names."
So far, Basehart says the average event sees between 25-40 vendors at a time, weather permitting. The event has spread from the John Dunn House Shops down Juan Largo Lane, where Chokola and La Manzanita participate, and across Shuerich Lane toward The Alley Cantina on Teresina Lane. Bent Street also has stores open late and performers in their gardens.
"These pedestrian paths in the downtown historic district are largely underutilized at night," Basehart observed, "so the concept of lighting them up with art, music, and culture after business hours has seen a great response. Many of the small locally owned business in the area stay open, and often participate with booths of their own."
On the Historic Taos Plaza itself, Basehart says the newly opened Studio 107-B Gallery and Taos Mountain Outfitters cater to the late night traffic, often hosting their own events.
Among the many businesses in Taos participating in First Fridays are the Taos Inn, most shops along Bent Street, including Taos Blue, Jones Walker of Taos gallery, Mudd N Flood, Dwellings Revisited, Sam's Shop, Earth and Spirit Gallery, Ennui Gallery, FX18, La Chiripada Winery, The Underground, Lambert's of Taos, La Tierra Mineral Gallery, Chocolate + Cashmere, MoMo Taos, Artemesia and Taos Cookery.
The John Dunn Shops either put out their own booths or keep their individual shops open late. Typically included are OpCit Bookstore, Letherwerks, Ammann Gallery, Steppin' Out, Common Thread, Amina's Children's Boutique, Mooncat Fiber, Coffee Cats, Coyote Moon, Seconds Eco Store, Clark & Co., The Little Place, Monet's Kitchen, Las Comadres Gallery and Marshall's Great Noodles.
Off along the cobblestone Juan Largo alleyway, Chokola Bean to Bar and La Manzanita offer great eats and treats for both visitors and locals.
More shops and creatives hop on board every week, swelling the offerings and adding to the fun.
"This is an opportunity," Basehart said. "Not just to sell things, but to advertise your skills or what your business has to offer. The things that bring us together as a community make us stronger from within. We have seen artists invited to be in gallery and museum shows because of this exposure. We have seen photographers land lucrative wedding shoots. Best of all, we have seen budding artists and craftspeople create and develop their small business ideas with hands-on interaction with the public helping them refine and finesse their ideas."
Basehart financed the event startup with October's First Friday in 2017. She still volunteers as an organizer, but she stresses the event is not about her. It is about Taos coming together as a group of individuals with the same goals, "creating a movement to benefit all involved while adding vibrancy to the downtown historic district at night."
Taos First Friday charges $20 a booth to cover radio advertising, market insurance, lighting, extension cords, the printing of flyers, reusable banners and signs.
Basehart said none of this would be possible without John Dunn Shops owner Polly Raye, the town of Taos, Taos County and their support of free public art in Taos.
"So, come out and see your friends and neighbors," Basehart says. "Check out what's new in the art scene. Enjoy performance, community and creativity. Art, music and culture by the people, for the people. Shop Taos first."
For more, call (575) 770-7790 or visit email@example.com.
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