82nd annual candy dance coming to Genoa
The 82nd annual Genoa Candy Dance and Arts and Crafts Fair is scheduled Sept. 28 and 29 in the Mormon Station Historic State Park, the Genoa Park and other locations in the town of Genoa, Nev. More than 350 arts and crafts vendors and 30 food vendors will participate in this year’s faire. Between 60,000 to 70,000 visitors are expected during the two-day celebration.
A $2 parking fee per vehicle will be charged. Shuttle buses will be available to and from designated parking areas. The streets in Genoa will be closed to through traffic from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the safety of visitors and vendors during the fair.
In the year 1919, when the first Candy Dance was held, no one would have guessed that the dance would become a tradition that would continue for 82 years.
Electricity was a marvel as compared to oil lamps that decorated a living room or kitchen at night many years ago. When electricity was brought into Genoa during the early 1900s, the subject of street lights was discussed by the towns people. Finally, Lillian Virgin Finnegan, daughter of Mary Raycraft Virgin and Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, suggested a dance and passing homemade candy around during the evening to couples attending the dance. With friends offering their own special candy recipes and help, the dance was a great success.
Street lights were referred to as electric lamps in the early days. The poles and lamps were installed and Genoa residents all marveled at how beautiful the town looked at night in the glow of the many electric lamps placed throughout the town.
The dance became an annual event — a tradition. The arts and crafts fair was added in the 1970s and the first fair was held on the front lawn of Sierra Shadows on Genoa Lane with 12 vendors. A few years later the fair was moved to the Mormon Station Historic State Monument grounds and continued to grow. Expanding proved necessary and now fair exhibitors are found in the Genoa Town Park on Nixon Street as well as other designated locations. The arts and crafts fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Candy will be available for purchase inside the stockade, at the Genoa Town Park on Nixon Street and at the Peddler’s Fair south of the Genoa Post Office.
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