Candy Dance opens cool, heats up fast

The Genoa Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire continues 9 a.m. today.

The annual two-day fundraiser for Nevada's first permanent settlement will be closed to traffic starting at 7 a.m.

On Saturday, a cool clear morning greeted visitors to the Candy Dance.

Temperatures were in the upper 30s as the fair opened.

A light snow fell in town at midnight Friday, traces of which remained on cars and booths in shady spots.

The weather wasn't the only thing that was brisk Saturday morning.

Volunteer Marion Vassar said they had sold $1,000 worth of candy in the first hour they were open. Volunteers made two tons of candy for the event and it was going fast.

"I'm here at 7 a.m. and we open as soon as we are set up," said Vassar, who is candy making chairwoman. "We have vendors who come over and buy candy before the faire opens."

Vassar said they've only had left-over candy twice since she's been volunteering for Candy Dance. Once because the weather was bad and last year when they made 4,400 pounds.

Minden resident Joanna Bowman was waiting in line for candy with three of her four grandchildren.

"I"ve been coming here 9 or 10 years," she said. "I love to see all the crafts people here and I always like to get the candy."

Acting Town Manager Lisa Granahan said staggering the crafters' arrival helped smooth setting up the event on Friday, but that winds through town were a challenge.

"Everyone got into their place and it ran really well," she said.

More than 100 volunteers participate in making the Candy Dance a reality.

"There are a lot of them from town and throughout the community," Granahan said. "We have people who come down from Kingsbury and even from Reno to help out."

Among the new displays at Candy Dance this year is one from the Antique Tractor Club of Northern Nevada.

Penny Heinrich, who is a member of the Reno chapter, was selling merchandise.

"We figured the antique engines kind of fit with the time period," she said. Candy Dance was founded in 1919 and many of the operating engines on display dated back to that time.

Silver Springs resident Linda Kaplan was painting faces at the event. Previous Candy Dance visitors might recognize her as LuLu the Clown.

"We retired LuLu this year," she said.

Kaplan, who has been coming to Candy Dance for a decade, already had a couple of customers on Saturday morning.

Former Genoa Town Board member Perry Hand and his wife Esther had breakfast at the Masonic Lodge.

"He was taling about pancakes in his sleep," Esther Hand said.

Perry was on the town board when Candy Dance raised enough money to allow the town to return its usual allotment of property taxes to the county.

"If every town in the country turned back the tax money they didn't need, there wouldn't be a deficit," Perry said.

The fair accounts for as much as 80 percent of the town's annual budget.

Parking for the fair filled up quickly on Saturday morning, with the smallest lot, located along Jacks Valley Road at the Genoa Cemetery, filling before 10 a.m. Cars lined either side of Jacks Valley Road for a half-mile north of the parking lot.

The largest parking lots are on the south and east side of town and are accessible from Foothill Road and Genoa Lane. Roads through the town are closed until 7 p.m., so it's recommended motorists use either of those routes to reach Candy Dance. Parking is $5 at the faire, but there is free parking at Douglas High School and the Carson Valley Inn and a $2 roundtrip shuttle to take people to the fair.

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