GENOA - Their spirits were high, but so were their tents - about 30 feet high in the air after strong wind gusts tore through this quaint country town Friday afternoon, lifting several canopies set up by vendors for the 85th annual Candy Dance and spilling wood crafts into neighboring yards.
"I had just gone to lunch and some person came running and said 'Your tent came down!'" said Diane Cobasky, a craft vendor from Prescott, Ariz. This is her 14th year at the Candy Dance. "My 20-foot tent is now over there." She huffed and placed her hands on her hips.
The crumpled metal skeleton of her $1,000 tent was in the neighbor's manicured lawn. The tents went airborne despite six 25-pound sandbags and several pounds of merchandise weighing them down. Her 10-foot tent was also in the neighbor's lawns. That one is salvageable.
"I don't know where the top is at," Cobasky said, peering over the fence. Her Log Cabin Crafts are set up at the southwest corner of Foothill Road and Genoa Lane.
But a little wind isn't getting her down. Or a broken bread box. Cobasky and her husband, Joe, drove 13 hours to be here, and spent just as much time setting up the merchandise.
Thousands of people pack the Candy Dance to stroll through more than 300 craft booths. This event is one of Cobasky's two biggest of the year. In the past she's made up to $20,000 here.
The National Weather Service doesn't gauge wind in Genoa, but an official said wind speeds as high as 51 mph were recorded in Carson City.
Kimberley Reid, of Sparks, was attempting to hold her tent together when she was paged to go to her car. A tree branch fell on her gray Volkswagen Bug parked along Jacks Valley Road. The tree branch also hit a passing motorcyclist, who was not injured.
"We drove by and said 'That's mom's car, how special,'" said her husband, Stephen Reid.
He and Reid's 16-year-old son, Daniel Scott, were cleaning up the mess left when Reid's tent flew up in the air and scattered all of her chenille angels, snowmen and French Country ornaments.
Reid thought about giving up her $400 vendor spot at the Candy Dance, but it could always be worse. She's only out about $150 for the crashed canopy.
"We just hope it won't rain," Reid said.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.