Keeping Tradition Alive



By S Casey

The Gooding Basque Picnic, held at the Gooding County Fairgrounds, is in its 27 year.
Sure, people come for the food, the fellowship, and the contests, but what stays a step ahead of all that, is the traditional Basque dancing. Phil Sarasqueta, with the Gooding Basque Association, says “It's something most of the Basque communities do all over the west, from California, Nevada into Idaho.” Basque dancing groups from Mountain Home, and a new one from Gooding, warmed up the onlookers this afternoon. Then came the main event, the Boise Basque Dancers. P.J. Mansisidor with the Boise Basque Dancers President says “My dad was in the original group, and so, my sister, my two older brothers and I have also been in the group, and it's just, one of the things, it gives you a connection to something rather than just floating around not knowing where to go.” Parents of dancers, like Lisa Spooner, are glad to pass along the culture. “I'm so glad they're doing the dances in the area as a way to keep the heritage going. Yea, it's just really neat.” Attendees describe the traditional dances as an important link for the children. Mansisidor says “But the dancing is the entertainment that everybody can see the heritage being carried on and continuing through the younger generations.”

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