Tradition of Candy Dance began in 1919

This weekend is the 89th annual Genoa Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Faire. Yes, you can buy candy and there is a dance, but people come from all over for the craft fair. It's supposed to be the best anywhere. I did a little Web searching and found some interesting Candy Dance facts compiled by Genoa Town historian Billie Jean Rightmire.

The Candy Dance was started in 1919 by Lillian Virgin Finnegan, daughter of then prominent Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, to raise money to purchase street lights for Genoa. While they raised enough money to purchase the street lights, they soon realized that they would also have to pay the electric bill to light them. Thus the Candy Dance became an annual fundraising event.

The craft fair, which is the big draw today, was started in the 1970s. Later the event was increased to two days. The funds raised by the Town of Genoa during the Candy Dance weekend provide a substantial portion of the town's annual budget. This year is the 89th annual Candy Dance and it promises to be as spectacular, and as crowded, as all the others.

While you are there enjoying the candy and the craft fair, stop in and visit the Genoa Courthouse Museum on Main Street. View a parlor like one Lillian Virgin Finnegan would have visited and learn more about the history of this unique town.

Saturday, Oct. 3, is Student-Senior Day and we're bringing the melodrama back to the Gardnerville museum. At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. you can view the video recording of January's sold-out performances of "Hotel Minden." If you live in Nevada , you will love this spoof. See you there.

Ending next week is the September photo contest. You have until 4 p.m. Sept. 30 to enter your photo into our contest. We're looking for something that is typical for September in Douglas County. We want a photo of something that just says "September" when you see it.

Anyone who lives in Douglas County can enter and the photo needs to be of something in Douglas County. Take your best shot of harvested alfalfa or turning leaves or whatever you like and enter it either in person at the Gardnerville museum or by e-mail to the address below. We'll announce the winner on Oct. 9.

Keep an eye out for posters announcing the Haunted Weekend Walks. There are four walks scheduled in Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa on Oct. 22-25. Stay tuned here or call 782-2555 for more information and where to get your tickets.

For any questions, contact the Douglas County Historical Society at or at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville at 782-2555. Remember, DCHS and its two museums in Gardnerville and Genoa don't receive any regular state or county funding. It's up to our members and friends to help us keep our doors open.

Contact Ellen Caywood at 790-1565 or


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