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San Inazio Basque Festival returns to Boise

The festival is this weekend and honors the feast of St. Ignatius.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise has a vibrant and large Basque population, with the highest concentration of Basque people living in the city outside of the Basque Country. People came to Boise from the Basque Country to find opportunity, many of them were sheep herders who would stay in Boise rather than in the mountains with the sheep. 

Some went back to their homes in the Basque Country, but many stayed and wrote to their friends that they should join them in Idaho

A community was built. Over the years Basque culture has become woven into Boise's foundation. The last weekend in July, the Basque block in downtown Boise is filled with live music, dancing, sports and good food and drinks. It is all for the San Inazio Basque Festival, an annual street festival celebrated in the Basque Country and right here in Boise. 

It's called San Inazio because Saint Ignatius is the Patron Saint of the Basque people. The festival is around the day of the Saint's Feast Day which falls on July 31.

Isana Bengoetxea is a board member for the Euzaldunak board. She said this is a time to let the Basque culture shine in Boise. 

"It's a way to keep our culture alive here in the area, but more than that, like if you were on a basketball team that always practiced but you never had a game how long are you going to go to practice for right? So, it's kind of cool to have these big events where you get to show off and all of your hard work kind of pays off," she said.

Bengoetxea is referring to the dancers and athletes that will be performing and competing. People can head down to the Basque block anytime this weekend to see the festivities. The best part... it's free and open to everyone.

2023 San Inazio Basque Festival schedule:

Start: July 28
End: July 30
Event Categories:
Basque Center, Boiseko Gazteak, Euzkaldunak, Oinkari, Pilota, San Inazio, Txantxangorriak

Friday, July 28:
Start Time Location Event
4:00 PM Fronton Men's B League Pala Game
5:00 PM Fronton Men's A League Pala Game
5:45 PM Basque Center Friends and Family Night
7:30 PM Fronton Women's Handball Semi Final Game 1
8:00 PM Fronton Women's Handball Semi Final Game 2

Saturday, July 29:
Start Time Location Event
7:00 AM Warm Springs Golf Course Basque Open
11:00 AM Basque Block Boiseko Gazteak Basque Dancers
12:00 PM Basque Block Txan Txan Gorriak Basque Musicians
1:00 PM Basque Block Oinkari Basque Dancers
2:00 PM Fronton Mixed Pala Game
3:00 PM Fronton Women's Pala Game
4:00 PM Fronton Women's Handball Final
4:30 PM Fronton Women's Prize Ceremony
7:00 PM St Mark's Catholic Church San Inazio Mass
8:00 PM Basque Block Street Dance on the block featuring "Jean Flesher and Band"

Sunday, July 30:
Start Time Location Event
7:00 PM Fronton Women's Handball Exhibition Doubles
7:00 PM Basque Block Txan Txan Gorriak Basque Musicians
7:30 PM Basque Block Bertsolari
8:00 PM Basque Block Sunday Street Dance featuring "Jean Flesher and Band"

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