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The Big Basque Festival in New London, CT approaches, organized by the local Basque community


Poster of the Basque Festival on June 23rd in New London, CT
Poster of the Basque Festival on June 23rd in New London, CT


Organized by the New England Basque Club (NEBC), the event aspires to become the largest Basque festival in this part of the country.  The organizing Basque club was originally mainly comprised of pilotaris who came to the US to play Jai-Alai and their families.  This is why herri kirolak is a big part of their program, along with music, chefs, dantzaris from Euskadi and various American Basque clubs.  All of them will participate in the inaugural parade, led by the town’s mayor.

New London, CT.   And this isn’t because the mayor is Basque, but because the Basques are established in this area and contribute to its economic, social and touristic development, and so that is why the presence of the mayor is merited.  The New England Basque Club (NEBC) is working hard and will bring the festivities to the streets; not to just any street but instead to the public plaza in dowtown New London, where they plan to welcome a large number of visitors.  They anticipate the festival being a complete success and will become established, especially with the festive ingredients that it had included in its program.

The day will begin with a parade, that will include members of the NEBC, dancers, musicians from California and Nevada, athletes, trikitixa from Europe, cooks, rowers…besides institutional representation from the New London Mayor’s office, the Delegation of Euskadi in the US, representatives from NABO, NEBC president and directors etc.

Throughout the day there will be performances by dancers and txistularis from Zazpiak Bat in San Francisco, CA from Gauden Bat in Chino, CA and from Ardi Baltza in Lamoille, NV, as well as rowers from Montreal, Quebec with their trainera who will do a demonstration of this maritime sport.

The Herri Kirolak will include harri jasotzea (stone lifting), aizkolaritza (wood chopping), lokotx biltzea (corn cob racing), txingak (weight-carrying) and sokatira (tug-of-war), all thanks to the herri kirolak team from the New England Basque Club itself that has much experience in these types of demonstrations nationally and internationally.

Finally, food will be represented in pintxos served by Amona Events from New York, by Mikel De Luis, who will present gildas, marinated anchovies, brochettes, cheese and seafood; txistorra and paella, by the Florida company Paella Grill, by Luis Elu and Paella Party, by Boni Guenetxea. The Restaurant Txikito in New York, led by Eder Montero and Alex Raij, will serve “Cantabrian Bonito in escabeche,” “Pintxo Tutera” from the Navarrese garden and “Bacalao ajoarriero.”

President of the NEBC, Juan Mari Aramendi, invites everybody to come share this new step that the club is embarking on. 

Tickets are available for purchase here, and don’t delay because they may sell out.


Friday, June 22

  • 17:00. Pintxo-Pote. Place: Thames River Greenery.

Saturday, June 23

  • 11:00am, Parade from city hall to the Nathen Hale School.  Including trikitilaris, txistularis, dantzaris, athletes etc. institutional representatives led by the Mayor of New London, other local authorities, the Delegate of Euskadi to the US, NEBC president, NABO representatives….The US and Basque flags will be raised to the singing of hymns. Aurresku.
  • 12:00pm, Herri-kirolak exhibitions, alternating music and dance performances.  Parade with the trainera, musicians, and dantzaris to the Maritime Museum. Aurresku in honor of men and women of the sea, a 25km journey down the coast in the trainera. Dancing, music and other athletes will return to continue the program on land.
  • 15:00pm, Food
  • 17:00 pm, Mus Tournament
  • 17:00 pm, Basque Music
  • 19:00 pm, Raffle (20 Basque-made cestas)
  • 20:00 pm, Closing ceremonies

- New England Basque Club:

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