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Basque in the Festivities

By Linda Tancs

Treasure Valley includes all the lowland areas from Vale, Oregon to Boise, Idaho.  With a moniker like that it should come as no surprise that the area attracted those in search of gold and other treasures.  An unusually large number of Basques joined in that quest, ultimately homesteading in Boise where the ethnic group grew to its largest numbers outside its European base of northeastern Spain and southwestern France.  Every five years Boise celebrates Basque culture at the Fairgrounds with Jaialdi, or “Big Festival.”  Now through 1 August, experience Basque tradition through tasty croquettes, dances like the Flag Dance (Ikurrina), and ball games like pelota (a variant of which is jai alai) in the Fronton on Grove Street.

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