Candy Dance trends up |

Candy Dance trends up

Thousands of people fill the streets of Genoa during the annual Candy Dance last weekend.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

Candy Dance, the annual fundraiser to support Nevada’s first settlement, raised more than a quarter of a million dollars as a result of its efforts.

Preliminary figures show Genoa will earn $144,000, though there are still requests for payment and refunds coming in five weeks after the September event. Most of the money from the event comes from renting 300 arts and crafts booths.

Selling homemade candy continued to be a sweet spot for the event, bringing in $24,435. The actual dance only raised $1,519, not as much as last year, but far better than losing money, which happened in 2011.

A big moneymaker this year was the rental of 40 food booths, which raised $23,490, but also questions from town businesses and vendors who felt there were too many similar types of food.

Board member Nancy Aten said she’d heard from people in town that a number of food vendors were competing with local restaurants.

“The volunteer fire department didn’t sell out of Italian sausages for the first time ever,” firefighter and town board member Trent Tholen said.

A candymaker said she saw a vendor selling toffee, which is in direct competition to the town.

Candy chairwoman Dee Chekowitz-Dykes pointed out that the town could have sold more candy if they’d had the ability to use credit card machines.

Vendor hosts Roger and Allison Grey asked that some means to differentiate juried Candy Dance booths from booths belonging to town businesses be found.

“We need a way to clearly designated the Candy Dance and non-Candy-Dance booths,” they said in their feedback form. “This has become a critical issue that is undermining the reputation and perceived quality of Candy Dance. Customers are saying Candy Dance features Chinese-made merchandise. Vendors say they’re being undersold by the non-Candy-Dance booths, which may sell manufactured items.”

Three private craft fairs operate in Genoa during Candy Dance weekend.

Dogs were also a problem, the Greys noted, and they seem to be getting worse. Dogs aren’t allowed in Mormon Station State Historic Park, and are generally discouraged at Candy Dance.

According to preliminary numbers released last week, the fair is up $18,000 compared to 2012, and $40,000 from 2011.