4,000 pounds of candy being made for Candy Dance | RecordCourier.com

4,000 pounds of candy being made for Candy Dance

by Merrie Leininger

How much sugar does it take to make 4,500 pounds of candy?

Two thousand pounds, which comes in 50 pound bags; in addition to 2,000 pounds of chocolate, 5,000 pounds of butter, 500 pounds of nuts and cases and cases of Karo syrup and marshmallows.

All this, and the finished product, have been lining the walls and sitting on every tabletop and chair in the old Genoa fire station since July.

For Bev Smith, the Candy Dance is a year-round job.

Smith has been involved in making candy since she moved to Genoa six years ago.

She works all year perfecting old recipes and working on new ones.

“I like playing with the recipes and adjusting and creating new recipes a lot. People bring me their favorite recipes and I test those. Every year there is something interesting and different, but we have the old favorites, too,” Smith said.

New this year are buttered rum truffles and new fudge flavors.

In June she starts ordering the ingredients and packing and then for six weeks before Candy Dance, she is busy whipping up divinity, cooking up fudge and rolling out popcorn balls.

Smith said divinity is a big seller and always sells out before Sunday.

“People really like it, it reminds them of their grandma,” she said.

She starts with peanut brittle, because it has the longest shelf life, and with help from many, many volunteers, goes down the list from suckers to turtles to peanut butter cups.

The fire station is warm from the kettles and smells like sugar every day, except Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Tuesday, volunteers work 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. so people who work all day can also help out. They also don’t work Sundays.

She said she always needs new volunteers, and help selling the candy at booths during the weekend. This year there will be two booths and two push carts.

“About four weeks before school started we had lots of kids in here every day,” Smith said. “They worked really hard. Some kids have grown up doing this every summer, and they can now work independently and make pretty good candy.”

People can also take work home with them, Smith said. Popping popcorn, labeling boxes and wrapping candy in colored foil – anything to help them make that Sept. 26 deadline.

Smith said she likes the challenge of the job.

“If I didn’t like it so much, I wouldn’t be as committed to making good recipes,” she said. “I really like candy. I have to have a taste of everything to check the quality of it.”

Betty Bourne has been working there for 16 years.

“I feel it’s my gift to my town,” she said.

However, she doesn’t like candy quite as much as Smith does.

“I get sick of it after a while,” she said. “I dream about it at night.”

Charlotte Brown just moved to town at the end of April and came to help and to meet some people.

“I’m very impressed they do this every year; that 200 people put this on for their town,” she said.

The money raised from the sale of candy goes to buying equipment and making improvements to the town. This year, the town hopes to renovate the old fire station.

n Other events. The Candy Dance is not just. An arts and crafts fair and antique show and sale will also take place over the weekend.

The antique show will take place at the south end of Genoa at the Dake Hawkins House at 2242 S. Main St. Thirty vendors are expected.

An antique appraiser will be on hand for all who wish to bring some of their items for an appraisal.

Three hundred artisans from across the country. Booths will be up and down main street both days.

The dinner dance will be held again this year Saturday night from 5 p.m. to midnight.

John Ascuage, owner of Nugget Casino-Resort in Sparks, has once again donated all the homemade Basque bread served at the dinner.

The event is held at Genoa’s Old Town Hall with returning band Rush Hour playing county, rock ‘n roll and oldies.

For information and tickets, call 782-8696. Tickets are $15.

On Sunday, food will be available at Inn Cognito Restaurant for the second year.

The Old Fashioned Barbecue will also have entertainment, horseshoes and barbecue at noon.

Free parking will be available in lots outside of town with shuttle service. The free lots are located on Genoa Lane and south of town on Foothill.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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