The Rome Historical Society will host a couple of holiday events next week:
• Collector Rich Massucci will visit RHS for a discussion on vintage 1970s and 1980s toys on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.
Massucci, who says his enthusiasm for vintage toys stems from his childhood, follows the collectible market and works closely with other vendors and dealers throughout the region.
In 2017, he started producing a podcast focused on vintage toy lines and the renewed interest that today’s collectors seem to have for them. The show, “Collect Them All,” can be found on his website, mygaragebar.com, and is free to listen to.
Massucci is a New Hartford native and a graduate of MVCC and Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. He has worked in the film and television industries, and currently works at Utica’s famous Stanley Theater.
• On Friday, Dec. 21, the Rome Historical Society will host a look back at holiday and winter traditions of Central New York at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and a brightly decorated Christmas tree are relatively modern traditions, according to the Historical Society. For residents fo the Mohawk Valley, colonial traditions were much more varied.
Early America was a melting pot of various cultures and traditions. The New England Puritans did not celebrate Christmas at all, while later German and English immigrants to the Mohawk Valley did.
However, the association of Christmas celebration with English tradition mean the holiday fell out of favor after the revolution. It wasn’t declared a national holiday until 1870.
William Sawyer, a park ranger of 30 years, will present songs and stories about the various American holiday traditions in the Mohawk Valley through research of the 1700s and analyze how disparate cultural traditions became the monolithic American Christmas celebrated today.
The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church St. For more information on these or other society events, call 315-336-5870 or visit romehistoricalsociety.org.