Pour Me a Kalimotxo! Treasured Piece of Boise Basque Festival Survives Pandemic Cancellation
Every five years, over 35,000 people gather in Boise for one of the largest Basque festivals in the world. While we were gearing up to shove our faces full of paella and let loose during the street dance, COVID-19 had other plans.
Jaialdi was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020. With growing uncertainty of what COVID-19 would look like by July, organizers pushed it back to 2021. In January of this year, organizers still didn't feel like it was appropriate to bring together such a large group of people, especially with the number of international travelers making the trip to Boise. They postponed Jaialdi one more year. It's now scheduled for July 26-31, 2022.
Basques have been in Idaho since it became a state in 1890. Over time, their informal gatherings became formalized into what today is called the San Inazio Basque Festival hosted by the Boise Ezukaldunak Inc. (Basque enter) the last weekend of July for the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Boise's Basque community considered putting together a 2020 edition of San Inazio Festival, a local festival which normally takes place during off years for Jaialdi. Ultimately, they didn't feel like they could hold it safely, even outdoors.
On Monday, The Basque Center announced a game plan for San Inazio 2021 via Facebook. Many of the events aren't currently scheduled to take place this year, but the Euzkaldunak Picnic at Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park is very much on for Sunday, August 1! The event, which includes games for kids and adults alike, will be held in the east end of the park from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Games start at 2 p.m.