The Taos Lilac Festival is a Spring celebration honoring the fragrant and lovely lilacs that are found throughout downtown Taos. Lilacs bloom around mid-May, creating a beautiful landscape of fragrant purple flowers and bumblebees. Gardens in Taos are in bloom and the weather can be great. It is a spring celebration for locals and visitors to Taos and features something for everyone!
The Taos Lilac Festival hosts arts and crafts, live music, delicious food, and vendors from all over the US. This event is a local favorite and attracts out-of-town visitors in mid-May. Downtown businesses participate by having decorative lilac or purple window displays. Businesses will compete for the best window display. This event aims to serve our member businesses, the local economy, and tourists.
Friday, May 19th from 12 pm to 5 pm
Saturday, May 20th from 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday, May 21st from 10 am to 4 pm
In Spring, purple lilacs bloom all over the Taos valley, usually nestled up against an adobe gate
or border. Their sweet fragrance wafting out on the breeze is a sure sign we’ll all be living outside
again after a long winter.
Lilacs are said to have arrived in Santa Fe from France, lovingly transplanted by the famous
Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy who arrived in 1851. Lamy’s struggles with Taos’ own Padre Antonio
Jose Martinez meant that he did not visit this far parish, so it seems unlikely that the Bishop
Lamy’s lilacs made their way to Taos in those early days.
With the founding of the Taos Society of Artists in 1912 flower gardens sprung up around the
valley. Many of the lilacs you see were likely planted by artists moving to Taos.