History of the Elko Euzkaldunak Club

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An organizational meeting was held in 1959, at the Nevada Dinner House to consider beginning an Elko Basque Club.  A list was formed of local Basques and letters were sent stating if they were interested to attend the next meeting. The letter was a success; there was a good turnout.  An election was held and Johnnie Aguirre became the first president of the newly formed Elko Euzkaldunak Club. A tradition began with a celebration that brought sheepherders and cattle ranchers into town for a day of celebration. The festival became a two-day event in 1964, now known as the National Basque Festival. The weekend festivities were scheduled around the 4th of July weekend, to celebrate with this great country and to thank them for accepting Basques and their heritage so freely. Traditions are an important part of the Basque heritage and the Elko Euzkaldunak Club is very proud of the National Basque Festival, an honor bestowed upon us by Governor Sawyer in 1964 in conjunction with the State of Nevada Bicentennial celebration.  It is a tradition that we have upheld for 50 years and hope to carry it on for many more years to come.