Collectors share stories behind prized possessions at annual ‘Holidays at the Houses’

Your Town Wausau
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 7:03 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - For over two decades, Holiday’s at the Houses has been a popular event in Wausau held at the Woodson History Center and Yawkey House Museum.

This year, people were able to not only display their unique collections, but the stories behind them.

“We have people saying when their collection started, how it started, how many is in it, and there’s a personal connection to these,” says Sheryl Del Conte, Event Planner/Curator of Events, Marathon County Historical Society.

Some of the collections even made their debut to the public for the very first time.

“It feels amazing because, you know, the only ones that’s ever seen it is my family,” says Linda Tryczak of Wausau.

The place helping collectors share with the community is the Marathon County Historical Society.

“As the historical society, that’s our whole goal is to preserve and share history,” says Del Conte. “Everybody that has a collection is so proud of that collection because it means so much to them. That is what today is all about.”

“I just appreciate the fact that people are interested and enthused about this village,” says Tryczak.

Beyond helping collectors share their stories, this year’s Holiday’s at the Houses serves as fun community gathering to spread holiday cheer.

“It doesn’t matter what tradition you celebrate. Whether it’s Hanukkah, or Christmas, or Diwali, or Kwanzaa, please everybody celebrate your holidays with family and friends,” says Del Conte. “I hope that today we were able to be a really great part of it.”

Another one of the many features of the Holiday’s at the Houses event is the annual gingerbread contest.

The winner this year is Patrick Bacher of Wausau. Contestants build Wausau landmarks. Patrick built the ‘William and Mae Gamble house’ located at 825 Franklin Street.

The house is completely edible, consisting of various candies including candy canes and gumdrops. It took several days to complete.

“I really enjoy working on them. It destroys the kitchen, but it all cleans up and I’m really happy that I won first place,” said Patrick Bacher, Wausau.

This is Patrick’s fourth time winning the contest.