Thursday, July 24, 2008

San Inazio Festival in Boise

This information comes to us via "The Idaho Statesman":

Weekend of festivities kicks off on the Basque Block Friday

Edition Date: 07/24/08

A pala tournament and a good, old-fashioned tug-of-war between the Boise and Meridian police departments are two new features of the Boise Basque community's San Inazio Festival, which will be rocking the Basque Block this weekend.

The annual festival honors Saint Ignatius of Loyola, patron saint of the Basques and founder of the Jesuit religious order.

Traditional Basque food, music and dance are always highlights of the three-day festival, most of which occurs on the Basque Block along Grove Street between 6th and Capitol.

"This is the big weekend for us," said Tony Eiguren, co-owner of The Basque Market with his wife, Tara McElhose-Eiguren.

Visitors to The Basque Market can buy gift baskets this weekend that have paella rice, chocolate, tuna, olives and other items from the Basque region in Spain and France.

"A lot of what we sell is wine," Tony Eiguren said of the shop's Basque wines, which sell for about $7-$73 a bottle. Lan Rioja is one of the most popular, he said.

Jill Aldape, former dance director and president of the Oinkari Basque Dancers, encourages festival newcomers to try a cool drink called kalimotxo, which is red wine and cola on ice. Aldape will be singing in the Basque rock band, Amuma Says No (Grandmother Says No).

Her brother, John, president of the Boise Basque club Euzkaldunak, says you can't go wrong with a solomo sandwich.

"It's marinated pork with pimentos, served on bread. There's also chorizo (pork sausage)," he said. "We'll be selling them outside the Basque Center in a food booth."

The festivities kick off Friday morning with a pala tournament. Pala is game played on a three-walled court; players hit a rubber ball with wooden paddles.

Pala players from San Francisco and Chino, Calif., will play with Boise-area players. The court is between the Basque Museum and Gernika Basque Pub & Eatery.

The games, organized by Eusko Kirolak - or Basque Sports - will be broadcast on closed-circuit television in the Basque Center's bar and dance hall.


The San Inazio Festival will rock Downtown Boise this weekend. Most of these activities will be on the Basque Block along Grove Street, between 6th Street and Capitol Boulevard.


9 a.m.-7 p.m., pala tournament (pala is a game akin to racquetball and squash). Players are from San Francisco, Chino, Calif., and the Boise area.

5 p.m.- midnight, no-host bar.


11 a.m.-noon, local Basque musicians

Noon-1 p.m., Boiseko Gazteak, youth dance group

1-1:30 p.m., Txantxangorriak, a band that features accordions and tambourines.

1:30-2:30 p.m., weight-lifting exhibition

2:30-3:30 p.m., Oinkari Basque Dancers

3:30-4 p.m., Sokatira (tug-of-war) between Boise Police Department and Meridian Police Department; Txinga (weightlifting) exhibition.

4-5:30 p.m., Pala championship games.

7-8:30 p.m., San Inazio Mass at St. John's Cathedral. Onati Dantza Taldea dancers will dance at Mass.


7-11 p.m., street dance.

8-11 p.m., Basque rock band Amuma Says No.

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