Genoa prepares for Candy Dance

The Candy Dance crowd in 2019. Brad Coman | R-C File Photo

The Candy Dance crowd in 2019. Brad Coman | R-C File Photo


It’s candy-making time in Nevada’s oldest town as volunteers start whipping up peanut brittle and divinity for the annual Genoa Candy Dance, Sept. 25-26.

By the time they get through the fudge, candy-makers will have produced 2,900 pounds of sweet concoctions to sell at the town’s annual fundraiser.

Last week, Genoa Town Board members selected a painting by East Fork Gallery artist Mark Harris for the poster.

Harris and fellow artist Janice Powell participated in a quick-draw competition in around two weeks to produce the poster.

An informal poll of the audience split between the two paintings, with Harris getting one vote more than Powell.

Concerns about the coronavirus outbreak cancelled last year’s Candy Dance and delayed the decision to go forward with the 2021 fundraiser that funds the town.

A permit for the annual festival that draws up to 30,000 people to the tiny town of fewer than 300 people is scheduled for discussion by Douglas County commissioners on Aug. 19, Town Manager Matt Bruback said.

He said the new mask mandate shouldn’t cause any problems for the annual event, which is mostly conducted outside.

Tickets for the annual dinner-dance could go on sale early next week at

The town hopes to sell as many as 500 tickets to the celebration in Genoa Park on Sept. 25. Bruback said the theme for the dinner will be rustic.

Candy and the dance are both part of the original celebration founded in 1919 to purchase streetlights for the town.

The real money maker for the town is the craft fair, which is what brings shoppers.

As of last week, the town had 230 vendors registered, short of the hoped for 300.

“We still have 70 spots,” Bruback told the town board. “I’m told there’s usually a waiting list for vendors, but that hasn’t happened this year.”

The craft fair closes all three routes into town, including Foothill and Jacks Valley roads and Genoa Lane.

Parking is available on all three sides with shuttle buses transporting shoppers in and out of the town itself.

Founded in 1851 along the trail to the California gold fields, Genoa is considered Nevada’s first settlement.

It served as the Douglas County seat until that was moved to the new town of Minden by the 1915 Legislature.

Two years later, the ladies of Genoa, including Lillian Virgin Finnegan and her aunt Jane Raycraft Campell and Mary Wyatt, cooked up a means to bring illumination to the town’s streets.

Because it is right at the base of the Carson Range, the town is one of the first places in the Valley to lose daylight.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment