SPORTS NIGHT & DANTZALDI
Jaialdi is one of the largest Basque festivals in the world, a celebration of culture that is a gift from Boise’s Basque community to the world. Every five years, thousands of people come to Idaho from around the globe to dance, eat, sing, play music, and meet old and new friends. This summer, two events are coming to CenturyLink Arena for the first time!
SPORTS NIGHT (July 30 – 7:00 p.m.) – TICKETS
Watch legendary competitors test their skills! Traditional farm sports like weight lifting, wood chopping, hay bale throwing, and wagon lifting will be on full display during this super popular event (get your tickets early!).
DANTZALDI (August 1 – 8:00 p.m.) – TICKETS
Join Basque and Basque-American bands in this celebration of music and dancing. This year, McOnak will be performing as a special concert. McOnak is a Celtic folk-rock band founded in Lekeitio in 2011 and has already released four albums. All tickets are general admission for this event. All ages are welcome!
Jaialdi was first celebrated in 1987 at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary as a one time weekend event to educate the public about the Basque culture. Jaialdi ‘87 attracted approximately 30,000 visitors who thoroughly enjoyed the event, the location, and the opportunity to be part of the Basque activities. The festival was so popular that Governor Cecil Andrus asked the local Basque community to put on another celebration to help celebrate Idaho’s Centennial in 1990.
After Jaialdi ’90, it was decided that the Jaialdi would continue to be held in Boise every five years. Jaialdi has been held in Boise in: 1987, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015. The next Jaialdi is already being planned for July 28 through August 2 in 2020. Jaialdi has become so popular that the event had to be moved from the Old Idaho State Penitentiary to the Western Idaho Fairgrounds to accommodate over 40,000 guests. This event is always held on the last weekend of July, which coincides with the Boise’s Basque community annual San Inazio festival which celebrates their patron saint, San Ignacio of Loyola.