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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Festival to Feature Pecan Pies and Candy

LAS CRUCES--Pecan pies and candy will highlight the eighth annual Cuchillo Pecan Festival Feb. 27.

Food and arts and crafts booths will open at 9 a.m. Tours of the Ritch family's eight-acre pecan orchard, which is the heart of the festival, also will be conducted.

"Bill and Bernice Ritch are charming hosts, and this is a really fun event," said Mike Cook with New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project. "They make some of the best pecan candy and pies you'll find anywhere."

REDTT, a program of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism.

All event proceeds will benefit the New Mexico boys' and girls' ranches. Last year, more than 700 people attended the festival. More than $1,550 was donated by the Ritch family, Sonic Drive-In of Truth or Consequences and the Sierra County Junior Women's Club.

Ritch's Pecans and Candy Shoppe is located in Cuchillo, 15 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences on New Mexico Highway 52.

The town was founded in the 1850s as a stage shop between silver mines to the west and the railhead to the east. Just east of the Ritch property as you enter Cuchillo is San Jose Catholic Church, built in 1907. A little further along the highway is the Cuchillo Bar and Store, which is more than 150 years old and also contains the town's museum. Just east of the bar is the Cuchillo Café.

For more information about the Cuchillo Pecan Festival, contact Bill and Bernice Ritch at (505)743-3201.

For information on this and other festivals, contact REDTT at (505)646-8009 or visit the project's web site at www.nmsu.edu/~redtt.