Candy Dance will draw so much traffic to Genoa this weekend that it affects Highway 395 four miles away.
Genoa Lane, Jacks Valley and Foothill roads leading into town will close around 7 a.m. today and again on Sunday for the annual craft fair that’s expected to draw up to 30,000 people.
Highway 395 will be reduced to one lane southbound at Genoa Lane to allow visitors from north of Carson Valley to turn right toward town.
Northbound visitors are asked to turn at Muller Lane because they won’t be able to turn onto Genoa Lane while the craft fair is operating.
Whichever of the routes visitors use to reach the town will determine how they leave.
Those leaving via Genoa Lane won’t be able to make a left turn onto Highway 395, which means they’ll have to turn right and make a U-turn or continue to Minden.
While there is no fee to attend the craft fair, parking in one of the designated lots on Ranch 1 or at the Genoa Cemetery is $10.
The parking fee goes to support a variety of Carson Valley causes.
Motorists who turn on Jacks Valley Road will find the cemetery parking lot fills up before the craft fair even opens at 9 a.m. and often find themselves trying to make a U-turn at the barricade, which makes the congestion worse.
With vehicles lining either side of the road for two miles north, visitors will find saving the $10 parking fee costs a long hike in and, after perusing wares of the 400 participating vendors, out of town.
Shuttles are available to take visitors from the parking lots into town. The shuttles are free, though donations are encouraged.
The roughly 500 people attending tonight’s dance should check their tickets for information about how to get into town and parking.
The forecast for this weekend’s Candy Dance is for sunny skies and temperatures in the lower 80s.
Shoppers looking to get some of that sweet homemade fudge produced by the town’s volunteers are encouraged to bring a cooler with them to keep it from melting.
Candy Dance is supposed to support the town, not burn it down, so residents are urged to keep the back roads above town clear so firefighters can respond to calls.
Both the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and both Genoa volunteers and East Fork firefighters will be keeping an eye on the roads above town, and those parking on the street may well be towed.
Today is the busiest day of the craft fair.
Visitors who’d like a more leisurely experience should try going Sunday afternoon. While it’s likely the town will be out of fudge and the Genoa volunteers will have sold out of Italian sausage sandwiches, there’ll be less walking and more elbow room.
Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier and veteran of many Candy Dances. Reach him at 775-782-5122 or email@example.com