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Hatch festival offers a feast for chile fanatics

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Enjoy green chile cheeseburgers, enchiladas, rellenos, and don’t forget music, games and dancing.

  The Hatch Chile Festival draws thousands of chile fans to the small New Mexico village. This year’s event is Sept. 4-5. (Journal File)


The Hatch Chile Festival draws thousands of chile fans to the small New Mexico village. This year’s event is Sept. 4-5. (Journal Fi

Lisa Terrazas has lived in Hatch all of her 17 years, and her feelings about the Hatch Chile Festival are unambiguous. “It’s our lifeblood,” says Terrazas, a past festival queen. “The chile festival means a chance to show everyone what we do with our chile.”

And if you go, you’ll find a world-famous fair filled with music, games, dancing and eating, an organizer says.

Hatch, about 185 miles south of Albuquerque on Interstate 25, hosts the annual fall festival to showcase the delectable crop of its farmers.

The event drew nearly 30,000 visitors last year, says Judy Naff, assistant coordinator for the festival; not bad for a village of about 3,000.

And it’s not just New Mexicans who attend, she says. The Chile Festival has garnered worldwide attention, whether from CBS “Sunday Morning” or the crew from a Korean TV station.

Throughout the weekend, Naff says there will be crafts, music and games, including a chile toss and horseshoe tournament. There also will be a carnival with rides for kids.

But the real star of the show is the food: Green chile cheeseburgers, enchiladas, chile rellenos, chile candy, maybe even chile potato chips. “It’s a great experience for a big chile fanatic,” says Terrazas, who has been to the festival every year of her life. “And if you’re not aware of what chile is, you learn to appreciate it a lot more.”

Festival admission is included in the $10-per-vehicle parking fee at festival grounds.

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