Kaleidoscopes and Collectibles and Colonials, Oh My!

Welcome to the threshold of March. As an encouragement to what has been a tiresome winter at best, The Pursuit looks ahead to the coming weekend by noting March as National Optimism Month, an effort launched by an Illinois doctor to remind us of the power of continually looking on the bright side.

Daylight Savings Time is only about a week away. And the vernal equinox, the official first day of spring, pops up only ten days after that. In no time, you'll be in flip-flops and shorts, we promise.

Isn't that something to inspire optimism?

In the meantime, The Pursuit of recommended events in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., will make sure you keep claustrophobia in check while counting down to sunscreen and outdoor BBQ season.

The Broadway musical Wonderful Town continues its run this weekend at the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center at Ursinus College. It is a grand experiment for the theater group, presenting an ambitious musical comedy. The score is by Leonard Bernstein, and its challenging tunes require a 15-person pit orchestra. The family-friendly story is a classic fish-out-of-water tale of two sisters who come to New York from rural Ohio, intent on setting the town on its ear. The performances are being paired with a dinner-and-show arrangement with the Collegeville Economic Development Corporation, in which a host of area restaurants offer the chance to nosh after you've enjoyed the tuneful romp.

It's a sweet day on March 1 at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove when families flock to the Annual Sapsucker Festival. Previously known as Maple Sugar Festival, this annual event includes a pancake breakfast, Kid's Corner, maple sugar-making stations, and bird conservation info.  Explore the evolution of maple sugar techniques as harvested by Native Americans, Colonials, and syrup producers of today. Carb-up first by chowing down at the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast.

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove

Come and meet a true sports legend: To mark the grand opening of Poppel's Sports Autographs & Collectibles in Montgomery Mall, future Sixers NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson will conduct a meet-and-greet on Sunday, March 2. This appearance comes just one day after his #3 jersey is retired. Here's your chance to congratulate A.I. and snag his autograph as well.

It's such a given today: Before you dig into prepping a favorite recipe, you preheat the oven to 350° and start in with the measuring and stirring. But think about how our ancestors dealt with the unpredictability of a cast iron stove and varying fuels firing inside it. For a first-hand look at the artistry of this kind of cooking, peer over the shoulder of Sheila Walter at Pennypacker Mills on March 2. Walters will be using the cookbook of Virginia Pennypacker - wife of our 23rd governor - to not only show food prep but also underline the important role a stove played throughout the houses of the early 1900s. Trust us, it's not all about what's bubbling in the bake pan!

Pennypacker Mills

Did you get your invitation to Sunday night's Oscar ceremonies? No? Hmm. Maybe it has been misplaced in all the snow we've had. Well, if your gown is ready or your tux is pressed, it's a shame to waste all that prep. Take your glam self to The Colonial Theater on March 2 for the annual Member Oscar party. You can not only watch the broadcast (snarky comments to your seatmate is perfectly okay) but also vie for a costume prize, take a chance on a raffle, answer trivia questions and party with the stage band, "Oscar and the Colonials." Membership is required (but easy to sign up for), so check out the Colonial's website for all the ins and outs.

Colonial Theatre

Sometimes all that's required to give you a fresh viewpoint on things is a change of scenery. Boost your mood by pampering yourself in one of our highly rated hotels or B&Bs. Our Cabin Fever Reliever deals are still in effect, providing a five-star getaway for surprisingly less than you'd expect. And that is something to be optimistic about!