The popularity of the Bakersfield Basque festival continues to grow. The Bakersfield Basque festival in 2012 brought in an estimated 3,500 people. Basque festival are very unique compared to the other kinds of festivals out there. Festivals are likely to have some type of music, activity, food, or dance. The Bakersfield Basque club provides all these items at the festival but with a Basque twist.
The Bakersfield Basque festival will feature several traditional Basque dances. There are over 100 Basque dancers ranging from ages 5 to 30 from Bakersfield that will perform at the festival. Many Basque Country natives who live in Bakersfield perform in the dances and some teach dance lessons to prepare the dancers for the performances at the festival. For example, Stephanie Duhart performed for 25 years and taught the dances for 15.
The music that will play at the festival will be performed by the Bakersfield Klika. The Klika is a traditional Basque marching band. The Bakersfield Klika was formed in 1975 and performs annually at the festival.
The festival will have four pelota players from Basque Country play matches on Saturday and Sunday. The four players that are going to be at this years festival are Aritz Lasa, Asier Arruti, Jon Apezetxea, and Kepa Penagarikano.
The festival provides mass at the Basque club park with Father Craig Harrison from St. Francis church on Sunday. Following mass, there is a BBQ lamb chop lunch that is served. The food is cooked and prepared by local Basques.
Tickets to the Bakersfield Basque Festival are available at Benji’s French Basque Restaurant, Woolgrowers, and the Bakersfield Basque club.