Candy Dance Craft Fair on its own this year |

Candy Dance Craft Fair on its own this year

Main Street in Genoa is still packed around 4pm Saturday as Candy Dance shoppers wind-up the first day of the event .
Brad Coman |

For the first time since 1997, there will be no independent craft fair competing with Genoa’s Candy Dance.

The Candy Dance Craft Fair attracts up to 30,000 people to Nevada’s first settlement on the last full weekend of September. This year the fair is Sept. 24-25.

On Friday, Martha Williams said she will be having a huge barn sale at her Antique’s Plus, but the Peddlers’ Fair will be dark.

The Peddlers’ Fair and two other independent craft fairs have been a point of contention with the Town of Genoa for 20 years.

With the recent sale of La Ferme, Gilles LaGourgue won’t be conducting his Menagerie, and White House owner Phil Stoll has struck a deal with the town to have juried booths placed on her property.

Over the years, Genoa has arranged to place food or juried craft booths across the town and share the proceeds with businesses.

Founded in 1919 by Lillian Virgin Finnegan the Candy Dance started out as a soirée where townspeople sold candy to pay for the lights and the electricity to illuminate them.

In the early 1970s, town residents started renting out craft booths to help pay for recreation for children.

The craft fair quickly became the main fundraiser for the town, and now accounts for the lion’s share of its budget each year.

Last year, the fair accounted for $152,565 of the town’s budget, up $20,000 from the year before. In comparison, property tax brought in $41,653 last year and rental of the town hall and the church brought in $24,602.

The event requires the closure of Genoa Lane, Jacks Valley Road and Foothill Lane from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on each day of the fair.

Last week, the town board approved closing Genoa Street between Nixon and Fifth streets to reduce the through traffic.

Town residents receive passes to get to their homes when the roads are closed. Town Manager Phil Ritger estimated about 1,500-1,600 resident passes are issued for the weekend.

Williams said she’ll continue to do parking for the weekend. Her husband, Bob, will be conducting a Townsfolks’ Alley, where he shows people how to do fast draw.