Reno Basque Club welcomes 50 years of culture.
WRITTEN BY CHRISTINA NELLEMANN
PHOTOS BY CANDICE NYANDO
With traditional food, colorful dances, and even a war-cry contest, the Zazpiak Bat Reno Basque Club celebrated 50 years of preserving Basque culture in Northern Nevada this summer. The festivities continue this fall with two events for club members and the public.
The club’s Fall Picnic will be held at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sept. 17. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. and will include a traditional Basque menu of meat or seafood stew, baked kidney beans, salad, and lamb or pork. Cheese and wine also will be served.
“As a club, we love to get together to just eat and chat,” says Alison Hull, Reno Basque Club board member.
The annual San Martin Dinner-Dance will take place 4:30 – 10 p.m. Nov. 11 at the American Legion Hall on Ralston Street in Reno. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and will include Basque club member and chef Phil Ulibarri’s favorite Basque entrées as well as desserts and wine. The event is open only to Reno Basque Club members, but visitors are encouraged to become members to enjoy more of the club’s events.
Honoring proud heritage
Zazpiak Bat, which translates to “the seven [are] one,” is a heraldic nickname for the Basque coat of arms that includes the region’s seven provinces and their unity. The Basque Country is located in the Western Pyrenees and the Atlantic Coast on the border of Spain and France.
The Reno club began in 1966, and at the time membership was just $3. The price has gone up a bit since then, but still an annual membership is only $20 per person or $30 per family. The club is a charter member of North American Basque Organizations Inc., founded in 1973.
“We are a very proud culture,” Hull says. “It’s so wonderful that our family members pass this pride down to younger people like me, and it’s something we need to continue.”
Christina Nellemann is a Reno-based writer who has an affinity for Basque-style sweetbreads.
For details, visit Renobasqueclub.org.