Discover the magic of the holiday season with our captivating nutcracker exhibit. Immerse yourself in a whimsical world of wonder where every intricately crafted nutcracker tells a unique story. The nutcrackers will be on display from November 25, 2023 – January 21, 2024.

The nutcracker display at Tiny’s Grill in Utica has been a holiday tradition for over thirty years. In 1994, Joanne Gerace, the owner of the restaurant, bought one nutcracker and put him out in the restaurant. She thought he looked kind of lonely and bought another and another… and the rest, they say, is history.

When Gerace sold the restaurant this year, the History Center asked her to keep them in mind as a place to display the collection to keep the tradition alive. Several months later a truckful (!) of nutcrackers arrived.

The display features over 600 nutcrackers. Gerace has loaned her collection to continue this unique Utica tradition.  “The nutcrackers have always been for the public to view. The History Center is an ideal place for the nutcrackers to be displayed and continue the tradition. I couldn’t be more happy to have them displayed there,” said Gerace.

The Oneida County History Center is a private 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving the history, heritage, and culture of the Greater Mohawk Valley for present and future generations; please contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit for additional information.