The National Basque Festival in Elko is considered the pride and joy of Nevada. What began as just a simple celebration for Nevada Basque sheepherders and cattle ranchers turned into an extravagant festival in 1964. Every year after the 4th of July, the weekend celebration is attended by both Bascos (Basque people) and guests alike.
The festival’s main significance is to celebrate and thank American states for accepting Basques and their cultural heritage. It also celebrates the Bascos main livelihood – cattle ranching and sheepherding.
Events and Entertainment
The festival features unique and traditional live Basque dances, wood chopping and many other rural competitions. You can also check out their Sheepherder’s Bread-Making Contest and join in parading through the downtown area.
You can also have a taste of the famous Pico Punch, an original Basque cocktail. One interesting event of this festival is the Basque dance at night where everyone dances with glasses of wine in hand. While dancing, people spill wine on their clothes. Bascos believe that the more stained with wine your clothes are, the more fun you had at the festival.
Basque Festival 2020
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s National Basque festival will be canceled. This event will resume next July 2021 to prevent more cases of coronavirus in the region.
The National Basque Festival is the most awaited and most celebrated by all the people and visitors of Elko. Get energized and dance your heart out while you bask in Bascos fun and hospitality!