ELKO — The National Basque Festival begins Friday.
“The festival became a two-day event in 1964, now known as the National Basque Festival,” the Elko Basque Club states on its website. “The weekend festivities were scheduled around the 4th of July weekend, to celebrate with this great Country and to thank them for accepting Basques and their heritage so freely.”
The festival this year will be held Friday evening through Sunday. As always, it will feature “great food, music, dance, and of course people.”
The kickoff begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the Elko Basque Clubhouse at 1601 Flagview Drive. The Elko Ariñak dancers will perform and Basque sport exhibitions of weight lifting and wood chopping will be part of the evening.
A 5K Run/Walk will begin Saturday’s festivities. Registration begins at 6:15 a.m. and the race stars at 7 a.m. from the Elko Basque Clubhouse. Participants pay $20 and receive a T-shirt. For more information contact Cody Krenka at 775-738-6479.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday downtown, and the route ends at the Elko County Fairgrounds. Games and dancing begin at 1 p.m. Multiple dance groups and athletes from across the country will perform.
A dance at the Elko Basque Clubhouse will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $12.
The festival will wind down Sunday, beginning with the Sheepherder’s Bread Contest at 10:30 a.m. followed by the auction after the 11 a.m. Mass.
The always-popular Basque Picnic will be from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.
“Spend the day enjoying a picnic of delicious Basque cuisine while watching dance and Basque sport exhibitions,” the club states on its website. “Sunday will also include our Jota and Irrintzi contest.”