Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces Chile is falling behind to spice up New Years Eve

LAS CRUCES, NM (AP) – Organizers say the annual Chile Drop will return to Plaza de Las Cruces this year for a personal celebration in 2022.

The celebratory event took place practically last year as COVID-19 spread during the winter months. It was recorded and broadcast to viewers on December 31st.

Live music, food and entertainment will be on offer in downtown Las Cruces from 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve this year. Main Street will be closed off around the square to make the event pedestrian friendly.

“That’s the plan. It’s a good, robust street fair,” event coordinator Russ Smith told Las Cruces Sun-News.

Coronavirus-safe protocols introduced by the state for outdoor events are followed, Smith said. This means that no masks are required outdoors.

One change this year will be the determination of the color of the chilli. In previous years, when the clock struck midnight on January 1st, great chile, surrounded by lights, would turn red or green, or a combination of both, in what is known in New Mexico as Christmas. This year the coordinators decided to let residents vote online on their preferred color by scanning a QR code.

Smith said the vote has already started and will last until 11 p.m. on New Years Eve. The results are entered into the system for the controlled descent at midnight.

“We heard people talk about their preferences. We wanted to be more mechanical and interactive with the audience before the event, ”said Smith.

Voters can choose between red or green. Smith said they had opinions that the chile should take on other colors like pink or orange, but officials from the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership decided to stick with the colors from New Mexico’s famous question – red or green?

Local television and radio personalities will act as grand marshal and presenter for the event. The Memphis Band from Mexico will perform live bluegrass and country music.

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