More than 1,000 people are expected at the Basque Picnic on Saturday.
The 49th all-day event begins with a Mass at 10 a.m. at the Los Banos Fairgrounds, 403 F St.
Mary Zabalbeascoa, one of the organizers, said she expects visitors from Nevada, San Francisco, Bakersfield, Fresno and other places in California.
"It's a wonderful time for Basques to be together," Zabalbeascoa said.
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Basque people came with their own language and culture from the region where northeastern Spain meets southwestern France, and many settled locally to herd sheep.
After Mass, Zabalbeascoa said, a variety of performers will perform traditional dances and other activities. One of those is the godalet dantza, or goblet dance, in which performers dance on the rim of a wine-filled glass. Another common performance is the txankarreku, which is a simulated fight.
Zabalbeascoa said fans of freestyle-rap battles may enjoy some of the traditional contests that are open to the public.
"Older men sing a six-stanza rhyming song on the cuff," Zabalbeascoa said. "This has been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years."
A weight-carrying contest may attract fans of the World's Strongest Man competition.
Lunch, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes lamb chops, lamb stew, beans, salad, French bread, wine and cheese. And, Zabalbeascoa said, Basque chorizo sandwiches will be sold at about 5 p.m.
Zabalbeascoa said vendors will also offer Basque jewelry, shoes, CDs and other items at an open market.
There is no entry fee to the picnic.
Los Banos Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.