Basques in Boise

Glenn Oakley
Basque costumes and dances at Jaialdi
Join a long weekend of music, dancing, sports, and food

Jaialdi means "big festival" in the Basque language, and that's no misnomer. Held once every five years, the Boise event is the largest international Basque gathering outside the region straddling the Pyrenees of Spain and France, but you needn't be Basque to join the party.

Basque athletes are famous for their feats of strength, like probak, in which participants don a belt and drag a 1,550-pound rock ― the highlight of Sports Night, July 28 at the Western Idaho Fairgrounds.

Zortiko, a dance featuring impossibly high jumps, storms the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts on July 29. And, of course, the five-day event features plenty of partying, dancing, and savory Basque treats at the fairgrounds and in restaurants along Boise's Basque Block, on Grove Street between Capitol Boulevard and Sixth Street. ―Julie Fanselow

INFO: Jaialdi 5 (Jul 27-31; from $5; venues throughout Boise; www.jaialdi.com or 208/888-4508)

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