Tonight's sky will be ablaze with July 4th fireworks, but once the final boom has sounded, it doesn't mean the oncoming weekend has to fizzle. If you're in "The Pursuit" of something to do Saturday and Sunday, consider the following:
- Architectural historians from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia will lead a walking tour of Norristown on July 6. You'll get a sidewalk view of the oldest of the four suburban Philadelphia county seats, tracing its history to 1784. Using sights pointed out along the way, topics will include transportation (canals, railroads, trolleys and highways) and the evolution of the historic Montgomery County Courthouse.
- July 5 is the birthday of circus impresario Phineas T. Barnum, one of the legendary showmen behind the renowned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Celebrate his 203 years with a visit to the American Treasure Tour on its general admission Saturdays (July 6 and the first Saturday of every month). Much of the tour's preserved Americana is circus-themed, including store-window animations, automated musical instruments and a miniature big-top itself, rendered in such detail that you can almost smell the fresh popcorn.
- Are you an aviation history buff? If so, you may know that July 6, 1919, marked the first airship crossing of the Atlantic. And if that tidbit gets your wingtips flapping, you'll have a top-flight time at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum. On display are 14 aircraft and nearly 40 display cases with separate focuses on World War I, the Pitcairn Era, World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Cold War, Women in Aviation, Korea, Southeast Asia, and contemporary aviation and space exploration. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
- In 1999, a school librarian from Geneva, Ill, had an inspiration: The pleasant summer weather of early July was perfect for spending more outdoor time with her 70-year-old father. The result? An official commemoration of Father-Daughter Take a Walk Together Day, marked each year on July 7. We can't think of a better place for dads and daughters to wander together than one of Montgomery County's serene strolling spots, the Perkiomen Trail or the Schuylkill River Trail.
- Writer Neil Simon holds the record as recipient of the most number of Tony and Oscar nominations for his pithy penning. His farce Rumors is onstage for its last weekend at the Montgomery Theater, July 6-7. In Rumors, Simon tackles a drawing-room comedy where knockabout pratfalls and misunderstandings are common but the privileged characters are decked in dinner-wear, not baggy pants. In a 1988 review of the original production, the New York Times gushed: Rumors "...has nothing on its mind except making the audience laugh."