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Hatch Chile Fest 2020

hatch chile festival

Hatch Chile Festival canceled for first time in 49-year history amid COVID concerns

LAS CRUCES – The coronavirus pandemic has claimed yet another beloved New Mexico annual event — the 2020 Hatch Chile Festival.

Organizers say it’s the first time the beloved event has been canceled in its 49-year history. The fiesta is held annually over Labor Day weekend in Hatch, the chile capital of the world. 

Tina Cabrales, president of the Hatch Chile Festival, said factors aside from the state’s mass gathering ban led to the cancellation of the event.

Jesus Alaniz roasts chiles at the Grajeda Farms shop in Hatch on Saturday during the annual Hatch Chile Festival. (Photo: Photo by Paul Rathje)

“There’s several reasons not just due to COVID-19. The chile festival depends on sponsorships and a lot of businesses have been closed since the first part of the year. We just don’t feel comfortable going out and asking people for donations to support the chile festival, that’s number one,” Cabrales said. “With the COVID situation and the social distancing, that’s really going to be impossible because we do host about 20,000 to 30,000 people. It would be impossible to keep every area clean and disinfected, that’s reason number two.”

Cabrales said even though it’s disappointing, with over 13,000 cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico as of July 6, it’s the right decision to cancel for the health and safety of the community. 

“Most of the festivals and events throughout New Mexico have also been canceled. There’s no state fairs, no duck races, it’s just to keep people safe,” Cabrales said. “We have people that come from all over the world to this. In order to keep our community safe, it’s a good idea for right now. It’s not that we’re doing this forever, it’s just not the time.”

Cabrales said if everything goes well, the festival will be back bigger and better than ever for its 50th year. 

“We’ve talked about it, we still have plans for our 50th year. We have big plans,” Cabrales said.

Source: Las Cruces Sun News

Also to note, With all the Hatch Chile Roasting cancellations this year, finding peppers is going to be harder than ever! Our Hatch Chile Locator will not focus on where roasting are happening in 2020, rather which grocery stores are carrying chiles that you could roast at home!

13 thoughts on “Hatch Chile Fest 2020”

  1. While we are very bummed that it has been canceled, we too realize it’s the best decision for everyone. I guess we’ll just have to order online this year rather than get them at the festival.

      1. I normally order then from this company or I watch to see if any of our local stores will have them. Although I did find that the Vons close to be sells the canned chopped ones, but also canned while green chili. They aren’t the Big Jim’s but they are still very meaty and tasty.

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