Las Cruces and its surrounding communities is the fastest growing and second largest city in New Mexico with a population of approximately 100,000 friendly people. In the heart of the fertile Mesilla Valley, Las Cruces is the county seat of Doña Ana County, and is surrounded by the historic communities of La Mesilla, Doña Ana, and Hatch. With an altitude of 3,800 feet above sea level, the climate of the region is characterized by an abundance of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 350 sunny days. Las Cruces has all the convenience of a modern city, yet retains the charm of it's historic past. The city just celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Las Cruces is one of America's most progressive and innovative communities. The city was recently ranked #1 small city on the Forbes/Milken Institute list of "Best Places for Business and Careers" and #2 on Money Magazine's "Best Places to Retire." Agriculture (chile, cotton, and pecans), New Mexico State University and White Sands Missile Range are key to the financial base of the area. Las Cruces is the home of the X-Prize space competition and The Rocket Racing League. Just outside of Las Cruces is Spaceport America which is the new home of Virgin Galactic.
The Las Cruces Public Schools offer 22 elementary schools, seven middle schools, and four high schools. New Mexico State University sits on a 900 acre campus and enrolls 15,409 students from all 50 states and 87 nations, competing in NCAA Division -1A intercollegiate athletics. The Las Cruces Symphony, The Dona Ana Lyric Opera, and the Mesilla Valley Concert Band are just a few performing groups that call NMSU homebase.
Las Cruces was a historic crossroads of the Butterfield Trail thru El Paso Del Norte, a major trail of commerce, exploration and travel. Our colorful history includes personalities such as Sheriff Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid and Geronimo.
Celebrations reflecting our cultural diversity occur throughout the year. Annual festivities include balloon rallies, X-Prize Cup, wine and chile "wars", fairs and rodeos, a Renaissance Craft Fair and the making of the world's largest enchilada.