The annual event has been going on for almost 50 years however, number 49 has been canceled.

Hatch is known around the world for those delicious chilis, especially the green ones, as well as the annual Hatch Chili Festival. The event attracts people from all over the world, the United States, and especially the southwestern states. It is held each year on Labor Day Weekend but, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event is off.

Hatch Chile Festival President, Tina Cabrales told the Las Cruces Sun-News that in addition to the state-wide ban on large gatherings, funding was a major factor in calling it off this year.

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, - LCSN

There were also, of course, health and safety concerns as the event typically draws 20 to 30 thousand visitors each year. With those kinds of numbers, Cabrales said that maintaining proper social distancing as well as proper cleaning and sanitation practices would have been "impossible". (LCSN)

It's not the only event that's off this year. The International Balloon Festival, the Deming Duck Races and the New Mexico State Fair are also among the large, traditional events that will be scrapped in 2020. Hatch Chili Festival organizers are hoping to be back in business next year though for the biggest party ever as the Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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