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Annual Basque Crawl kicks off in East Bakersfield

Posted at 1:50 AM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 04:52:56-05

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Food, drinks, and laughs are a few of the things you can see at the annual Basque Crawl.

It occurs on the night before Thanksgiving for many families and friends to reunite once again.

The Basque Crawl is the unofficial gathering for the Basque community.

The Basque community consists of immigrants that are a blend of Spanish and French heritage, who made their way to Kern County.

9-year-old Declan O’Carroll is apart of a table of 15 filled with, Basque and non-Basque families and friends.

"[We] are bringing the gang back together and having fun," said O'Carroll.

The table says they love participating in the Basque Crawl that is made up of local Basque restaurants, for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner.

David Etcheverry comes from a Basque family and says this day is always special.

"Everyone is coming back to town and everyone comes back here," said Etcheverry. "You got to try the pickled tongue."

The Bakersfield community has adopted the Basque tradition with many attendees, not of Basque heritage, but carries the tradition of togetherness.

"They are such a warm and welcoming community and it doesn’t matter if you are basque," Laura Ortiz. "They welcome you in and that’s why we like it."

Many tell 23ABC that Bakersfield is home to the second-largest Basque community.

During the Basque Crawl friends and families can be seen enjoying family-style meals filled with authentic Basque cuisines.

"It is a day of thanksgiving, we are thankful for our employees and thankful for our family friends," said Christiane Camou, WoolGrowers owner.

"The people who come to basque restaurants it's all about being with your family, and it's conducive to what Thanksgiving is all about."