Candy makers pour first batch of fudge

The first batch of fudge is in the big copper pot in the Genoa Town Kitchen.

The first batch of fudge is in the big copper pot in the Genoa Town Kitchen.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

The first batch of Genoa’s famous fudge went into the copper pots in the Town Kitchen on Thursday morning as volunteers worked to prepare for the Candy Dance, Sept. 23-24.

Fudge is usually the last thing made in preparation for the annual event and the first thing to sell out.

Chairwoman Sherry Eriksen said the goal is to make 3,400 pounds of candy, of which 730 pounds will be fudge.

“What I like about candy-making is the camaraderie you have with the friends you make working for the common goal of supporting the Town of Genoa,” Eriksen said. “You kind of feel like you are making a small imprint on the history of Genoa, continuing the long-standing tradition of candy-making, started by Lillian Virgin Finnegan, to help the town of Genoa.”

A handful of the around 200 volunteers required to put on the annual fundraiser were taking the fudge’s temperature and stirring to get it just right.

“We have a solid core group of volunteers coming most days," Eriksen said. “That is supplemented by volunteers that come as often as they can. And a few that can make it in only a few hours. Every hour a volunteer puts in is greatly appreciated and helps us toward our goal.”

In addition to the fudge, brittle and the usual fare, volunteers are adding peppermint patties and peanut crunch bars to the mix.

Eriksen said she expects to wrap up by Sept. 9, and then take a couple of days to pack mixed boxes. The crew will go through around 800 pounds of sugar and 625 pounds of chocolate.

Spokeswoman Gayle Vassar said while volunteer recruitment is going well, it could always be better.

“We still need people in almost every position, and we need more candy makers,” Vassar said.

“Our greatest need is volunteers to help with candy sales, taking and filling orders, on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. People can go onto our registration site to sign up for a time that works for them.”

She encouraged anyone interested in making candy contact Eriksen at

Vassar said the easiest way to sign up is to go to and sign up for the shift that works best for the volunteer.

The town itself has a population of around 230 people, but volunteers from across the region come to help produce the fundraiser.

This year the Candy Dance Poster will feature the 113-year-old Town Church, which is undergoing renovations.

Founded in 1851 along the Emigrant Trail, Genoa served as a waystation for those headed to the California gold fields. It was the original county seat when Douglas County was first formed as part of the Nevada territory in 1861.

Candy Dance Faire volunteers are needed for:

• Candy Sales – order takers, order fillers, cash register operators, and “door manager”

Dinner Dance Set Up

• Dinner Dance bartending team – Help with distribution of drinks tickets and other bartending duties.

• Information Booth – This is a great job if you like talking to people whilst sitting in the shade!

• Ice sale to vendors (vendors come to Town Hall to buy/pick up ice) –

• Silent Auction assistants – Help with the Silent Auction at the Dinner Dance by preparing displays and answering questions.

• Vendor hosts – Provide booth sitting and general assistance to the art and crafts vendors during the Faire.


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