As summer cools down, the Village of Hatch, New Mexico heats up. Here in the Chile Capital of the World, Labor Day heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of the world famous crop. 30,000 people flock to this small community situated along the fertile Rio Grande river valley in southern New Mexico. Any time of year, visitors can find stockpiles of roasted chile. During harvest time, you can hear the sizzle of chile skins searing and smell the sweet roasted fruit pods with every inhale. You can see ristras being made and may catch a glimpse of the glamorous Chile Queen. Hatch is a relaxed place to pass through any time of year. Be sure to stop at Sparky’s Burgers, Barbeque and Espresso where oversized pieces of Americana grace his roof, restaurant and grounds and you can pose with life-sized statues of celebrities like Col. Sanders while enjoying a green chile cheeseburger and milkshake. Then stroll through the chile stands so you can pack a little of the flavor of New Mexico to take home with you.

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