The Wyndham Hotel downtown is all dolled up this week, so it can play host to the annual National Doll Festival, bringing together more than a thousand doll enthusiasts from all over the world.
Rowbear Lowman, the President of the California based doll collector's association, says people collect dolls for many reasons. He says many collectors are into the hobby to make money, a recent consignment of dollars at a show sold for $150,000.
Others are interested in the historical value of dolls, and the place they have held in human development over millennia.
"We have dolls that are more than 2,000 years old," he said. "They were burial dolls, they were part of somebody's wealth and they were buried along with them, but they were definitely dolls."
He says dolls have played a role throughout human history, and the intricate nature of dolls makes them a much more intimate piece of history than a photograph or a document.
"It's sort of like having a handshake from somebody in the past, when you handle the things from the past which were made with love," he said.
Lowman says the Festival brings together the largest and most diverse collection of dolls, teddy bears, and other similar crafts from around the world. He says many are one of a kind, and many have very historical roots.
High tech dolls? Lowman says the way technology has changed the doll world is not by changing the dolls themselves, but by refining the way dolls are made. He says today, it is possible to make a doll which is indistinguishable from a real person.
"You can find dolls that are called 'newborns,' and they look just like newborn babies, which isn't always beautiful."
He says while people of both genders and all ages collect dolls, the biggest collectors are generally women from 35 up, which he says frequently have a 'special connection' to dolls.
The Festival runs through Friday and is open to the public.