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Sixth annual Las Cruces Chile Drop features surprise green pepper

123119 lc chile drop
At midnight, a bright green chile pepper illuminated the Plaza de Las Cruces.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - On New Year's Eve, millions gather to watch New York drops a ball, Memphis drop a guitar and Boise drop a potato.

Las Cruces drops an iconic that is symbolic of the region's agricultural prosperity and love of spicy foods: a giant chile pepper!

“The state of New Mexico is inherently famous for its Chile industry," said Russ Smith, who started the event six years ago and has organized it every year since. "We celebrate that. We honor it. And Las Cruces pays close attention.”

Thousands of Borderland residents braved the chilly temperatures to ring in the new year (New Mexico style).

ABC-7's Kate Bieri was honored to return as grand marshal. Hosts Jack Lutz and Abri Morales also entertained the crowd, accompanied by the seven-member band, Caliente.

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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