This weekend kicks off National Tourism Week (May 3-11), a celebration organized by the U.S. Travel Association to highlight the value of vacationing and the upside of unplugging. This year - the 31st commemoration since its establishment by Congress in 1983 - the theme is the Travel Effect, highlighting the numerous advantages of leisure travel and, alarmingly, the hidden costs of working too hard:
  • Americans have one of the longest workweeks in the world
  • We are also more likely to not use the vacation time we are afforded: Americans left an average of 3.2 paid time off days unused in 2013, totaling 429 million unused days
  • According to survey data, both managers (41 percent) and workers (40 percent) cite reduced stress after a day off
  • This underutilization of paid time off has a substantial impact on the U.S. economy and is taking a heavy toll on workplace productivity, personal well-being and family relationships

On a more local level, The Pursuit suggests that perhaps the best way to regularly refresh yourself is to first reclaim your weekends right here in Montgomery County, Pa. Our list of events for this weekend are a good start.

The Senior Follies returns to the Steel River Playhouse for performances May 3-4. The show, Chez Follies, is a pastiche of music, dance, comedy, and pathos themed around the story of the impending closure of a beloved nightclub. The seasoned performers first reminisce about their past triumphs "on the boards" and then take matters into their own hands -Mickey/Judy style - to save their stage with one last humdinger of an evening.

Wizards and their Muggle parents will enjoy the Harry Potter Flies Again event on Saturday, May 3, at the William Jeanes Memorial Library. The free event, targeted to students in grades 4-6, includes magical crafts, supernatural snacks and even a chance to make and taste butter beer. A round of trivia is part of the event, so if you know without stretching that the stick of Harry's Nimbus 2000 was made out of Mahogany, you'll do quite well.

The exact meaning behind the European tradition of dancing around a maypole has been blurred by history, but the most prevalent theory involved a springtime celebration of blossoming trees. Regardless, it's a colorful and musical way to revive a centuries-old rite, and you can take part in one on May 3 at Pottsgrove Manor. The Annual Colonial May Fair also includes magic shows, puppet theater, early American crafts, living history demonstrations, hands-on activities, crafters and food vendors.

Pottsgrove Manor's Colonial May Fair

If you're passionate about your pooch, you might enjoy the "paws" in your workweek at the 12th Annual WMGK DeBella Dog Walk, May 4 at Green Lane Park. On-air personality John DeBella and the entire WMGK staff unleashes the day's activities, hosting a variety of dog rescue organizations, vendors, demonstrations, food and music. All dogs are welcome, but they must be controlled at all times on leashes no greater than six feet and have all vaccinations up to date.

Walking the dog at Green Lane Park

The Montgomery County Concert Band is holding its annual spring concert on May 4 at Souderton Area High School. The program is an interesting mix of classical, jazz and even German polka. One of the pieces, Charleston Capers, is a zippy toe-tapper performed by dueling xylophonists.  This past March, the Band was honored to have been selected to play at the Association of Concerts Bands Convention in Allentown and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference in Hershey.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 78 percent of domestic trips taken are for leisure purposes, with the top leisure activities being:

  • Visiting relatives
  • Shopping
  • Visiting friends
  • Fine dining

Montgomery County, Pa., offers numerous opportunities for these activities and ample places to stay while you enjoy them. Our website lists the finest accommodations in the area. And for fine dining, it's hard to beat the menu at Pacific Prime.