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Santa Paws John Dunn Shops Taos Brodsky

Art Bachrach beloved founder of Moby Dickens Bookshop founded Santa Paws in the 1980s

On Saturday, December 8, the Bent Street Merchants will once again join with the John Dunn Shops to host a spectacular holiday celebration. Festivities will begin with “Santa Paws” in front of Op.Cit Bookshop from noon until 4 pm. The Bonfires on Bent Street reception will be from 4 – 7 pm.

Bent Street will be closed to traffic for family-friendly strolling, all the shops will be open and decorated for Christmas, and most will offer holiday goodies. Throughout the day warm yourselves by cheery bonfires and visit with friends while you enjoy refreshments, music, shopping and holiday cheer.

This annual celebration – this is its 30th year – is always held close to the winter solstice, the time when the sun is at its greatest distance from our hemisphere. From Neolithic times, gatherings and feasts have been a traditional part of solstice festivities, a way of sharing and giving thanks for all that we are given. The merchants offer this celebration to thank everyone for their year-round friendship and support, to make new friends, and to celebrate the light within and without.  

In that spirit, the 40 Bent Street and John Dunn shops, galleries and restaurants will welcome you all day with specials, raffles, prizes and drawings. Santa Paws will be in front of Op.Cit Bookshop from 12:00 – 4:00 for photos with your pets, as a benefit for Stray Hearts Animal Shelter. Stray Hearts will also bring pets for adoption and volunteers will tell you about Taos’ many services for our animal friends. Bonfires, cookies and hot beverages will keep you toasty warm and add to the holiday cheer.

santa paws 2018 promo graphic

The Bonfires on Bent Street “street reception” will be from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Within most of our 40 shops and galleries you will find holiday cookies or hors d’oeuvres and beverages. As it has for over 25 years, Bent Street Café & Deli will offer tamales, chile, holiday cookies, hot cider and hot chocolate at the junction of Bent Street and John Dunn Way. Mudd ‘n’ Flood will serve chile and other treats, and La Tierra Minerals will offer posole, chips and salsa outdoors as well as hors d’oeuvres and treats inside the shop.

Santa Paws John Dunn Shops Taos New Mexico

Around 4:00, as the buffet opens, Brennan Murphy will fill the air with beautiful music on his harp,  Billy Archuleta and the Guadalupe Choir will share Christmas carols for you to sing along, and Santa Claus will arrive to greet you. Mudd ‘n’ Flood will once again host their Wheel of Fortune with great prizes. Taos Blue, at the corner of Bent Street and Paseo Norte, will offer s’mores. Taos Cookery will have a bonfire with marshmallows to roast, cider and giveaways. About 5:30, the Taos Community Chorus Troubadours will harmonize at the John Dunn Shops stairway. Later Julia Fernandez de Maez will perform sword belly dancing outside Sam’s Shop.  Throughout the afternoon and evening, your caroling group and friends are welcome to stroll the streets or gather around a bonfire and perform or join in singing.  

All locally owned by your Taos friends and neighbors, the Bent Street and John Dunn shops offer a wide variety of unique, quality gifts, many Taos-made, in all price ranges. You’ll find fashions for men, women and children, shoes, wine, art, books, cookware, outdoor gear, crafts, folk art, eco and solar gifts, jewelry, pottery, fossils & minerals, yarn, blankets, fabrics, leather goods, and more. Several “cooperative” galleries offer unique artistic gifts from your Taos neighbors. Lambert’s Restaurant, Bent Street Café & Deli, and Cici’s Coffee Shop will offer Gift Certificates.  This is an excellent opportunity to start – or finish – your holiday shopping while sharing a festive day and evening with friends.