Jul. 27, 2015

Idaho festival celebrates Basque culture, history

With more than 300 pounds of chorizo sitting in her freezer and 5,000 portions of Basque-style paella prepared in advance, Tara McElhose-Eiguren says she's finally running out of space in her kitchen in anticipation of helping feed those attending the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho. "We've been cooking since last week," said the co-owner of the Basque Market, which sits next to the small brick building that sheltered some of the first Basque sheepherders in Idaho during the early 1900s. 

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the five-day party as a showcase of the culture beginning Tuesday in Boise. Many of those celebrating will hit Boise's so-called "Basque Block," full of bars and restaurants where Basque descendants congregate for weddings and the annual San Inazio Basque Festival.

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