Las Cruces Chile Drop

Every year on December 31, the city of Las Cruces spices up the holiday season by replacing the iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop, with a giant chile pepper. This beloved tradition has become a staple in New Mexico ever since its debut in 2014, and offers a unique and exciting way to bring the community together to celebrate the coming of a new year. Don’t miss out on all the fun, join us this year at the Las Cruces Chile Drop to see what all the fuss is really about.

Chile Drop New Years Eve

What is the Las Cruces Chile Drop?

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, a 19-foot chrome chile pepper covered in 2,400 sparkling LED lights is lowered in downtown Las Cruces as a unique and unforgettable way to welcome the new year. Every year, before the chile drops, the public must guess whether the chile pepper will be red or green. This is a homage to the official state question: "Do you prefer red or green chile peppers?" If you ask a local what their preference is, they will always have an answer. The Chile Drop first started in 2014 as a way to celebrate the newly constructed Plaza de Las Cruces. Now, it is a popular annual event that pays homage to one of the region's most iconic crops - chile peppers.

Chile Drop 2 New YearsWhat happens at the Las Cruces Chile Drop?

The Las Cruces Chile Drop is more than just the lowering of a chile pepper. It's a full evening of fun and excitement, with live music, food vendors, and family-friendly activities.The event typically starts around 9 p.m. and lasts until after the chile drop at midnight.

One of the highlights of the Las Cruces Chile Drop is the live music. At the event, you can find a  variety of local and regional musicians who will keep the party going all night long. 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy delicious cuisine from a variety of vendors who sell everything from chile rellenos and tacos to hot chocolate and more.

For families with children, this event offers a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained, including carnival games, face painting, and other fun activities that kids of all ages will enjoy. The kid zone offers kid friendly entertainment, so even the little ones can rock out all night long. 

Why should you attend the Las Cruces Chile Drop?

The Las Cruces Chile Drop is a unique way to celebrate the New Year. This event offers an opportunity to experience the warmth and hospitality of our community. If you're looking for a New Year's Eve celebration that strays from the norm, then look no further than the Las Cruces Chile Drop.

@visitlascruces Las Cruces rings in 2023 with the drop of the lighted chile in the Downtown Plaza. This year the chile turned green at the strike of midnight. #newyear #chiledrop #lascruces #downtownplaza #visitlascruces #2023 #southernnewmexico #newmexico #greenchile ♬ original sound - Visit Las Cruces