Genoa gets ready for Candy Dance, craft fair

GENOA -- Yummy concoctions, from almond bark to truffles, fudge to peanut brittle -- nearly 5,000 pounds of candy -- will be available for this year's Candy Dance.

The 83rd annual Genoa Candy Dance and Arts & Crafts Faire will be Saturday and Sunday in the foothill community.

While the Town of Genoa starts preparing for the annual Candy Dance early on in the year, candymakers gather in August to start their process.

Billie J. Rightmire, Genoa's town historian, has been doing publicity for the Candy Dance for eight years. Marian Vassar is a master candy maker for the festivities.

"My first Candy Dance was in 1954 and I was gone for a long time," Vassar said. "This time, I have been involved since 1994."

Last year, the candymakers produced 3,200 pounds of candy, but that wasn't enough to satisfy the more than 50,000 visitors.

"The good stuff sold out by noon on Sunday," Vassar said.

This year, she said, "We are making as much fudge as we can crank out."

Organizers are expecting between 80,000 and 100,000 people this year.

Rightmire used to help make fudge, but the problem, she said, was one piece would go to the town, while another would go straight into her tummy.

"I make divinity now," she said.

To supplement the favorites, fudge and divinity, the Town of Genoa does purchase from outside candymakers.

Vassar stresses that accounts for less than 10 percent of the total poundage of candy, and is made from historic recipes from the town.

The core coordinators to produce all the candy includes Vassar, Sandi Woodruff, Lynee Bowersock, Betti Bourne and Carol Sessor -- each with individual strengths.

Bourne, for instance, made every single box of the peanut brittle that will be sold. That included 100 pounds of peanuts.

"By this time of the year, I am sick of it," she laughs.

The Candy Dance has been held every year except for one occasion during World War II when sugar rations were low.

Preparing for the influx of a mid-sized town worth of people requires a village.

Volunteers from throughout Douglas County, including several groups of schoolchildren, pitch in, Rightmire said.

During the Candy Dance, a 1-pound box of candy samples sells for $10 and is the biggest seller during the Candy Dance, Vassar said. It includes a half-pound of fudge and a little of nearly everything.

So if it is tiger bark, divinity, almond bark, haystacks, dragon eyes, truffles, fudge, peanut butter cups, rocky road fudge, peanut clusters or brittle, cinnamon, cappuccino, or butterscotch cups, or some of Betti's butterscotch coconut drops, you want --Ehead to the Candy Dance.

The actual dance, with music from David John & the Comstock Cowboys from 6 to 10 p.m., is Saturday evening and costs $20 per person, and $10 for children under 10-years-old.

The maximum tickets sold for the down-home dinner is 400, but some are still available.

The Arts & Crafts Faire runs both days from 9 am. to 5 p.m.

Information, call the Town of Genoa at (775) 782-8696.

If you go

What: Candy Dance

Where: Genoa

When: 9 am. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday


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