by Sharlene Irete
It’s a sweet job, but someone’s got to do it.
A team of volunteers has begun making 3,000 pounds of the namesake of the 90th annual Genoa Candy Dance. On the dance card this year is fudge – with and without nuts – peanut butter cups, almond bark, peanut brittle, English toffee, and a one-pound candy selection. All of the items are made on-site with the exception of divinity, which is made by Grandma’s Fudge.
“We’ll have fewer varieties of candy, but more of it,” said candy making chair Dee Dykes. “One of the Candy Dance standards is the Genoa fudge, and Betty Bourne was kind enough to donate her peanut brittle recipe.
“We keep making what people have come to expect. There’s comfort in tradition.”
New for this year is a 12-ounce jar of hot fudge sauce.
“The hot fudge sauce was born because it was unseasonably hot last year,” said Dykes. “People wanted to be able to buy something without it melting on the way home.”
The 90th annual Genoa Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26. Proceeds of candy sales and the fair benefit the Town of Genoa.
“The money goes toward the maintenance of the town and the town hall. This way we become less of drain on Douglas County because we’re unincorporated,” Dykes said. “We rely on the generosity of the volunteers who come to help when they can.”
Besides actually cooking candy, volunteers are needed to process and package the candy, and to help sell in two-hour shifts during the fair.
“We’re also looking for four to six responsible kids on each of the two days of the fair to make deliveries and actually sell candy to the craft vendors who can’t get away from their booths,” Dykes said. “They can make deliveries in their little red wagons and carts and get the product out there. Volunteers are needed in every part of bringing our product to the community.”
Marian Vassar stepped down after 10 years, so this is Dykes’ first year with the responsibility as the candy making chair. She said she was always avid in cooking and was a home economics major at the University of Nevada, Reno, in “the Dark Ages.”
“We have 60 20-pound batches of candy to make,” said Dykes. “After it’s made, we keep it refrigerated or frozen so it comes out perfectly fresh when it’s time to sell it.”
Dykes deals with food safety, ordering food and supplies and said she reduced the candy-making process to spread sheets.
“I try not to waste,” she said. “We try to become more ecofriendly and cost-conscious. Because of the economy, we’re not raising prices although our costs have gone up, so we have to be more efficient.”
Candy making goes on in the Genoa Town Offices at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday and 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 15. Volunteer information, 782-8696.
Candy Dance dinner tickets on sale
The Genoa Candy Dance dinner dance is 4-10 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Genoa Town Park, with entertainment by David John and the Comstock Cowboys and Wylie and the Wild West.
The dinner dance doors and no-host bar open at 4 p.m. Dinner of tri-tip or chicken, rosemary potatoes, green salad, corn on the cob, garlic bread and dessert catered by Genoa Country Store, served at 6:30 p.m. Beer, wine, margaritas, and soft drinks available.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children age 12 and younger. Purchase dinner dance tickets by Sept. 17 at the Genoa Town Offices, 2289 Main St., or 782-8696. Dance-only tickets are $15, also available at the door.
The 90th annual Genoa Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26. The event is free. Parking in designated lots is $5 per vehicle. Free shuttle buses will be available at all designated parking lots. Shuttle buses will also be available for $2 round trip from Carson Valley Inn and the Douglas High School parking lot.