Candy Dance in Genoa this weekend

The population of Genoa will grow a hundredfold this weekend as visitors pack the historic town for the annual Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire.

The event attracts as many as 30,000 people to Nevada's first permanent settlement during the course of the weekend.

Most come for the annual craft show, which features more than 300 booths selling goods, food and the candy.

Town Board Chairwoman Kitty DeSocio said the final count was 307 crafts booths and 34 food booths.

In order to participate in the Candy Dance, crafters are screened by a jury.

The town will be operating five booths selling doughnuts and coffee.

"We will have upgraded and updated the merchandise for sale with a new license plate holder that says 'Genoa, Home of the Candy Dance,' and belt buckles," she said. "They will not last long."

Another quick seller is the more than two tons of homemade candy produced for the event.

Volunteers have been preparing fudge, divinity, brittle, rocha and other sweet concoctions since August.

Genoa resident Mike Curcio as Wyatt Earp and his possee will be roaming the streets of Genoa seeking desperadoes, with whom they will shoot it out promptly at 3 p.m.

The Carson Valley Historical Tractor Association will present a small display of antique tractors and engine in the orchard next to the Tahoe Ridge Winery.

A children's activity area will include candle-making, tattoo art and face painting near Mormon Station Historic State Park.

Anyone wishing to participate in the dance that gives the event its name will have to wait until next year. Tickets to the annual dinner-dance at the Orchard House in Genoa have sold out.

Candy Dance was founded in 1919 by Lillian Virgin to pay for the installation and maintenance of the town's streetlights.

The annual arts and crafts fair was added in the early 1970s and expanded to become the chief source of the town's funding.

Where once the event was enough to pay for the electricity for streetlights, now it has the town's staff and maintenance to support.

"Candy Dance is hugely important to the town," DeSocio said. "It pays about 80 percent of our operating budget."

Weather for the annual craft show will be sunny and cooler with the high temperatures in the upper 60s.

Douglas Masonic Lodge No. 12 will serve a $5 pancake breakfast in the historic Masonic Lodge building in Genoa 6-10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds go to maintain the Masonic Lodge building in Genoa.

Jacks Valley and Foothill roads and Genoa Lane will all close 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for the Candy Dance.

Most of the parking spaces available for Candy Dance are just east of town on Ranch One. Both Foothill Road and Genoa Lane are closed at the entrance to these parking areas.

There is a small amount of public parking at the Genoa Cemetery along Jacks Valley Road. Parking is $5 per vehicle and shuttles are available to carry visitors to and from the event.

More parking served by shuttle is available at the Carson Valley Inn and Douglas High School. A round-trip by airport mini-bus is $2.

For information, 782-8696 or


-- Jacks Valley Road leads to the fewest number of parking spaces and the longest walk to get to a shuttle.

-- It's better to continue south to Genoa Lane or Muller Lane and park in one of the big lots served by the shuttle bus.

-- The town is closed at 7 a.m. so there aren't many options once you commit to an entry. Highway 395 drops to one lane before the intersection with Genoa Lane. When it is time to leave town from Genoa Lane, left turns aren't permitted, so continue south down Highway 395 and make a U-turn. Safest place to do that is at the light at Highway 88 and 395.


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