The Hatch Chile Festival, event of legend among chile aficionados the world over and just one part of why hatch chile is considered the very best of what our wonderful state has to offer. Though other types of New Mexican grown chile such as chimayo are know by many New Mexicans, its “Hatch” that has become a household name outside of our state. The festival is arguably the most important two to three days of the year in our tiny town and has contributed to the success of “Hatch Chile” outside of the state. After all, its why we’re the chile capital of the world! Similar to our post answering the question “when is hatch chile season“, this post is supposed to answer another common question we hear here at The Hatch Chile Store. That question is “when is the hatch chile festival?” (obviously) and we’ll answer it below 🙂
So, just when is the hatch chile festival? The festival is held every Labor Day weekend out at the Hatch Municipal Airport. The airport is located a mile or so out of town on NM Highway 26 (the road from Hatch to Deming). Although the airport and our town aren’t the most glamorous settings for an international event, the chile makes it worth attending. I’d compare our town to that hole in the wall restaurant that has food so good you keep coming back. It may not be well lit, it may not be in a beautiful building, but the food is so damn good you just don’t care!
If you’d like more information about the festival, head to the official hatch chile festival website and take a look at the informational pages they’ve published. You can also become a sponsor of the festival and see some beautiful photographs of the festival at their “festival scenes” page. The festival has traditionally been managed by a committee of locals but starting in 2014 it will be primarily managed by a commercial vendor from Albuquerque. Why? Well, unfortunately the local folks who’ve always managed the festival have day jobs that are getting in the way of managing the chile festival. Though I can’t blame them, its sad to see the festival be taken over by a non-local. Hopefully, the festival goes off without a hitch and more locals will get involved again in the future!
I hope I’ve answered the question that likely brought you here (being when is the hatch chile festival) and provided you with a little background about what makes the festival special. If you have further questions, feel free to ask them in the comments or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We typically respond to email very quickly so don’t be shy!