Genoa town board works with competing festivals

In what might seem like an April Fool's prank, members of the Genoa Town Board voted to support permits for two competing festivals on Candy Dance weekend.

That support came with conditions, including that the town and festivals proposed by Phil Stoll and Martha Williams work with the town to come under a single permit in 2009.

Three town board members also voted to split a $6,149 fee charged by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office with the two other festivals.

"I think we've made a lot of progress tonight," Town Chairwoman Kitty De Socio said.

De Socio, Greg Pace and Brian Williams voted in favor of the two festivals. Bill Donohoe and Dave Whitgob were not in attendance.

Douglas County commissioners approved the permits at their meeting on Thursday.

Town board members also approved seeking permits from vendors who are not handcrafting their own goods. They discussed placing vendors who sell their own handcrafted goods in Mormon Station State Historic Park and buy-sell vendors in Genoa Town Park, located on Nixon Street.

"Welcome to my world," Antiques Plus owner Martha Williams said.

Board members approved a policy for sponsors of Candy Dance events, but rejected a plan to separate the actual dinner-dance from the craft fair.

The Candy Dance was founded in 1919 by Lillian Virgin as a means to pay for streetlights. The dance was a dinner where homemade candy was sold to raise money for the town.

Through the decades, the dance and candy sale sufficed to pay the towns' expenses. In the early 1970s, a craft fair started and gradually came to be responsible for a majority of the money raised for the town through booth fees. The fair only allowed handcrafted American-made items.

Town Manager Sheryl Gonzales said all vendors will be juried and that her hope was that all the material would be handcrafted.


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