Basque culture celebrated at annual event

Basque culture celebrated at annual event

Basque culture celebrated at annual event

A night of jubilation and friendship filled the Civic Center this past Saturday. The Battle Mountain Basque Club members came together to raise money — and glasses, too — with old friends and new, in support of the Battle Mountain Obernak Basque Club. The 20th annual Winterfest featured dinner, dessert, dancing and an auction.

Traditional loaves of sheepherders bread — donated by Jodi Moore, Joe Obieta, Shirley Shepherd and Louie Salutregui — sold for over $100 each.

A basket filled with traditional Basque items was auctioned for $650. The money will go toward the Frank Iturriaga Memorial Scholarship Fund.

One last auction item was presented at the event in honor of the late Alexander Kovis. The loaf of bread was auctioned off and donated back three different times, eventually raising close to $1,000, which will be used to add patches to Basque Club uniforms.

Following the auctions, Maite Kovis led the young Basque dancers onto the stage to perform three dances, including the famous chicken dance. Following the mini Basque dancers, 7- to 13-year-olds performed the flag dance, and later the high school-level dancers performed more traditional Basque dances. The evening culminated with an alumni dance from the original troupe of 20 years ago.

“Our older dancers are excellent; they can jump and land on a wine glass without breaking it,” said Netti Quintana. “They are worth the wait to watch their show.”

Event Coordinator Shirley Shepherd thanked the community for its support.

“The community attendance has been amazing,” she said. “All the club members who helped are to be commended, especially Rita Rogers for her soup and her beautiful decorating skills.”