Jon C. Hodgson
Jaialdi, the mega-Basque festival celebrated every five years in Boise, Idaho, was supposed to take place in 2020. In April 2020, the festival organizers postponed the event to July 2021 because of Covid restrictions. Then, in mid-January 2021, they announced the postponement of the event to 2022. The participation of Basque Country musicians and dancers and many other details that require much advance planning led organizers to wait one more year.
Tens of thousands of festival-goers are expected to descend on Boise for the Jaialdi 2022 celebration.
The epicenter of Jaialdi 2022 will be the historic downtown Basque Block, but festival events will be held at venues across Boise. Dancers, athletes, musicians and others from Euskal Herria and the U.S. will be featured at performances and exhibitions that celebrate all aspects of the unique Basque culture at Expo Idaho, the Morrison Center, CenturyLink Arena and St. Mark’s Church.
And, of course, you can always grab a Kalimotxo and pintxos or a plate of paella while catching up with friends at restaurants and bars along the Basque Block, where strolling musicians, musical groups and others will perform throughout the week starting Tuesday evening, July 26.
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The Euskal Kazeta team has been to every Jaialdi since the festival began in 1987. Our advice is to book your hotel room early and purchase event tickets soon before they run out.
While dates have not been finalized yet, the following events are likely to follow the schedule of previous jaialdis. Here’s everything you need to know about festival hotels and the events that require tickets at Jaialdi 2022:
As usual, festival organizers will be arranging for special rates at Boise hotels. Find Jaialdi 2020 hotels.
Sports Night is expected to be held Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the downtown Idaho Central Arena and feature athletes from Euskal Herria competing in weight lifting, wood chopping, bale throwing and other traditional farm sports. Buy Sports Night tickets.
Festara will be held Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m. at the Morrison Center and will celebrate music and dance, featuring performers from Euskal Herria and the renowned Oinkari dancers from Boise. Buy Festara tickets.
Basque-ing at Expo Idaho will be held Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31. These day-long blockbusters will feature dance performances, vendors, and food and drink, as well as a popular display of classic sheepherder wagons (carrocampos). Buy Basque-ing at Expo Idaho tickets. Tickets that were already purchased for Expo Idaho will be honored. Children are free
Dantzaldi is scheduled to be held Saturday, July 30, at 8 p.m. at Idaho Central Arena and will feature live music for dancing. Buy Dantzaldi tickets.
The annual Basque festival in Boise, known as San Inazio, is replaced by Jaialdi whenever Jaialdi occurs. However, Jaialdi is held at the same time as San Inazio, which coincides with the July 31 Feast Day of the Basque Saint Ignatius. Some of the events at Jaialdi are also the same, just on a grander scale, such as the feasting on the Basque Block and the 6 p.m. Saturday mass at St. Mark’s Church with a traditional liturgical dance performed by local Basque dancers.
Basques immigrated to Idaho mostly from a corner of the province of Bizkaia (Vizcaya) in the Spanish side of the Basque Country, known as Hegoalde. Most of them came in the early 1900s for sheepherding and then settled in the region permanently.
Make sure to follow Euskal Kazeta for all your Jaialdi news.