Genoans cancel 2020 Candy Dance |

Genoans cancel 2020 Candy Dance

The sun came out and so did the crowds at the annual Genoa Candy Dance on Sunday. Kurt Hildebrand photo

With the general uncertainty posed by the coronavirus, Genoans decided Wednesday to cancel the 2020 Candy Dance.

“COVID-19 has presented us with no other option than to cancel the 2020 Genoa Candy Dance,” Town Manager JT Chevallier said on Thursday morning. “This event relies on multi-agency permitting and significant investment. The fact remains there are far too many unknowns to be able to properly and safely plan a large-scale event.”

Chevallier originally proposed waiting until just before candymaking was scheduled to begin, but the recent surge of cases has seen restrictions extended to the end of July, at least.

“There is no way to predict when restrictions will be lifted to provide the opportunity to produce the event,” he said.

Candy Dance is the chief fundraiser for Nevada’s oldest town accounting for 60-65 percent of its budget, more than seven times the money the town raises in property taxes.

One of the key factors in the decision is candymaking, which has to start Aug. 1 in order to complete the roughly ton of homemade fudge, brittle, and other sweets, that give the event its name.

“Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the level of service and safety that is required to effectively execute the 2020 Candy Dance,” Chevallier said. “This decision does not come without significant impact to our Town, our heritage and our budget, but it was the right decision to make.”

Most of the money made at Candy Dance comes from craft fair vendor booths.

“We will be working with our 2020 Candy Dance vendors to provide refunds or roll their deposits to the 2021 event.”

Chevallier thanked residents, businesses, vendors and the community for supporting the town.

“We refuse to allow the cancellation to extinguish our passion and dedication to ensuring Candy Dance 2021 is one for the record books.”

Founded in 1919 to raise money for streetlights, Candy Dance started out literally as a dance where candy was served.

The dance was held every year except one during the Great Depression when the banks closed and candy makers couldn’t withdraw money to buy supplies.

A craft fair was established around 1974, which ended up surpassing candy sales and the dance as the chief source of income.

An estimated 30,000 people visit the tiny town during the last weekend in September.