Please help us celebrate New Year’s Eve in Las Cruces New Mexico by dropping a chile inspired by what other cities do with the ball drop in New York or peach drop in Atlanta.
On Wednesday December 31, 2014 from 9 pm to 12:30 am we will be celebrating community on main street LasCruces New Mexico with music, spirits and the first Las Cruces Chile Drop.
By Todd G. Dickson
Las Cruces Bulletin
New York’s Times Square has its famous ball drop, and Las Crucens will get to ring in 2015 with a similar spectacle – a lighted chile sculpture set to be lowered to the intersection of Main Street and Las Cruces Avenue in a new Downtown event.
“The Chile Drop is definitely happening,” saidRuss Smith about the celebration that has been talked about for years.
Through Project Mainstreet and a committed group of volunteers, Downtown’s Main Street will be closed off for theChile Drop New Year’s Eve celebration from 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31, to 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015.
Just before midnight, a 15-foot-long chrome chile sculpture covered in LED lights will be lowered by a 90-foot crane to a stage, taking on its full shine at midnight, Smith said.
The question of whether the chile will green or red at the stroke of midnight will be decided by Las Crucens voting through a Facebook page survey.
“No one will know the answer until midnight,” Smith said.
People can vote on their green or red preference until Christmas, he said. That would give organizers time to finalize programming of the LED light effects, he said.
Prior to the finale, there will be music on stage from 24 local musicians, vendors and a beer garden,with a children’s play area at La Placita until 9 p.m. Supporting the event are a number of sponsors.
Also, the District Attorney’s Office has held fundraiser for the organizers to rent Safe Ride vans to ensure people have free rides home if they need them, Smith said. This was an important concern, he said, because it’s already a busy night for the area’s limited taxi services.
In addition to volunteers, businesses have “really stepped up” to help make the event, he said, such as Weaver’s Welding, which is providing the crane, and Days Inn, which will provide special rates for those who want to visit LasCruces for the event, along with shuttle transportation.
“We really want to make these Downtown events attract people regionally,” Smith said.
The Chile Drop is being dedicated to two “visionaries,” the late Doug Rains, who suggested the idea years ago to LasCruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, and Abby Osborne, whose energy and event planning have propelled the idea into reality, Smith said.
“I want to thank those involved in making this Chile Drop a reality,” Miyagishima said. “I’m especially pleased that they are able to honor a good friend of the community who is no longer with us, Mr. Doug Rains.”
Todd G. Dickson may be reached at 680-1983