Genoa prepares sweet side of Candy Dance |

Genoa prepares sweet side of Candy Dance

Terri Schultz gathers ingredients for peanutbutter fudge on Wednesday morning.
Kurt Hildebrand

if you go

What: Genoa Candy Dance

When: Sept. 29-30

Where: Genoa


It’s said that in Genoa, someone is always stirring the pot. Last week it was candymaker Sherry Eriksen’s turn.

Candymakers were working on the peanutbutter fudge in preparation for the annual Candy Dance, Sept. 29-30 this year.

The copper kettles used in candymaking are at least a half-century old.

“They’ve withstood the test of time,” candy chairwoman Dee Chekowitz-Dykes said.

She said this year was a banner one for volunteers, who have been churning out three kinds of fudge, divinity, peanut brittle, English toffee and peanut clusters over the past few weeks.

“I have such a great crop of returning volunteers,” she said. “One microteam is doing handmade divinity, something that was part of the very first candymaking back in the 1900s.”

There was a period of time back three or four years ago when the divinity was made by Virginia City’s Grandmas Fudge.

“But the volunteers wanted to bring back the classic,” she said. “Handmade divinity is more finicky than the other candies.”

She said the divinity crew is producing 330 pounds of divinity in three or four varieties, including some with pecan in it. The crew makes some with pecan in it and has done a version that tastes like orange creamcycle.

“The other thing they make in limited quantities is chocolate covered divinity.

“When I tasted those, I was like ‘Oh my God, that’s so good.”

Chekowitz-Dykes credited volunteer Janet Pefley and her team with producing 260 pounds of peanut brittle all on their own.

Volunteers are literally wrapping up making 3,000 pounds of candy to sell at the Candy Dance.

All of the candy produced for candy dance is done by hand using nothing but butter, chocolate, vanilla, sugar and nuts.

“None of our candy has any preservatives or stabilizers in it,” Chekowitz-Dykes said.

Candy makers are also making white chocolate almond and cookies and cream bark.

She said they were also going to bring back the chocolate covered pretzel rods.

“Having so many volunteers will allow us to use every stitch of product we have to create candy,” she said. “We always build a buffer to make as much as we can. We always sell out of it. I so appreciate the volunteers coming to our little town to help make candy.”

Tickets for the other half of Candy Dance went on sale in late August and most of the $52 premium 1919 Society tickets are sold out, but there are plenty of dinner tickets available.

Tickets for the dinner and dance are $32 and are available online at

The Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Fair draws an estimated 30,000 people to Nevada’s first settlement the end of each September.