Updated: Oct 11, 2018
The Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation Department presented the Grand Prairie Farmers Market’s 8th annual Hatch Chile Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18. In addition to the selection of fresh produce, baked and home goods, and crafts typically made available weekly, the festival provided an easy way to stock up on some favorite chilies, shipped straight from New Mexico.
“Each year, we host this event to not only sell peppers to the community and residents, but to bring people downtown and our farmers market,” said Erin Hart, manager of events for the city of Grand Prairie. “We offer either fresh or roasted peppers, a convenience, because it’s a seasonal and specialty pepper. [We are] able to fly them from Hatch, New Mexico, get them here, and roast them onsite. People can easily stock up and store them all year.”
With a market that predominantly focuses on offering locally grown or made products from North Texas, the Hatch Chile Festival is an anticipated time of year for the Grand Prairie Farmers Market. It provides stress-free access to Hatch peppers that could prove hard to find around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“The Hatch Chile Festival is an exciting time of year, and you don’t even have to be from Grand Prairie to enjoy it,” attendee Marsha Whitman said. “My obsession is healthy cooking and knowing where my food comes from. At some point in that obsession comes the struggle to find certain goods, produce, and cooking additives in your area depending on the time of year.
“When going to the store, you often find yourself compromising on freshness and quality in exchange for importation needs. Events like this and farmers markets in general offer a pleasant, even enjoyable way to obtain fresh produce, so much so that I pop over from Irving. With the music and consumables, what’s not to like?”
The annual Hatch Chile Festival comes as a benefit to the farmers market and corresponding vendors by bringing an influx of visitors to the town’s center.
“I come out to the farmers market to be a vendor, where I do woodworking and sell pens, pencils, all kinds of stuff,” vendor Rick Swyhart said. “We have a lot of fun out here and there’s a lot of different things going on every week.”