SARAH HART LOVED THE ANNUAL Bonfires On Bent Street even before she opened Ennui Gallery on a small street lined with shops and galleries north of the Taos Plaza. A printmaker, painter, and graphic designer who got a start printing band posters on recycled pizza and beer boxes, Hart joined with two other artist friends to launch the gallery, record store, and gift boutique in 2013. Despite its name, Ennui Gallery goes all out for the celebration, which has seen John Dunn Shops and Bent Street merchants tending bonfires, lighting farolitos, and welcoming the holidays with music, fire dancing, and food since 1988.
IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE ANNUAL EVENTS. We contribute to the festivities with blazes in front of the gallery, in the back courtyard where we project the film White Christmas, and in the store’s indoor fireplace.
The stores are open late. The restaurants serve green chile stew. There are carolers, hot cocoa and cider, and everyone is excited to participate. As merchants, we rely on the holidays for sales. This event brings everyone out. So this year, the merchants are especially celebrating that our small businesses have survived after two challenging years.
The mood is really celebratory. People want to be around other people and connect. I think the tradition of little fires along the street stems from the big Christmas Eve bonfires at Taos Pueblo. The bonfires offer a place for gathering—it’s really cold in Taos in the winter! The fires are inviting and warm and give a bigger sense of warmth. They bring you together with others to stand around and talk and just be together. It is beautiful.
I recommend giving yourself time to explore all the beautiful little shops. They are all so different along Bent Street, so you’ll see a wide variety. Bundle up, and be sure to eat some green chile stew.