Valley Forge and Montgomery County gain national exposure this weekend as the National Dog Show, hosted by the Philadelphia Kennel Club, unleashes two days of canine competition at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, November 16-17. The show draws owner-handlers from all across the nation to vie for the coveted Best in Breed distinction.

But the two days are also packed with plenty of fuzzy family fun.

The National Dog Show is a "benched" event, meaning that the dogs being shown remain onsite for the run of the show. Because of the spatial requirements, benched shows are becoming increasingly rare; there are only six left in the U.S. This weekend, therefore, is a chance to experience something uncommon: 175 breeds of dog, represented by an estimated 2,000 individual animals, on display.

What this means is that if you want to meet some rare breeds up close and personal, you're more than welcome to wander the aisles. And yes, once you've asked permission, petting is allowed!

In addition to what's going in the various judging rings, the show offers a full schedule of entertaining presentations, including:

  • Flyball Tournament
  • Purina ProPlan Performance Team
  • Freestyle Flying Disc Demonstration
  • Dog's Best Friend Award

The entire two days are covered onsite by NBC Sports and features host John O'Hurley (whose interview with The Pursuit ran earlier this week). The broadcast will follow the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28.

If you're sniffing around for things to do this weekend aside from the National Dog Show, The Pursuit has other recommendations.Act II Playhouse in  Ambler

The Act II Playhouse continues its run of The Woman in Black, a spine-chilling play set in an English countryside. Two actors play multiple roles that will have you on the edge of your seat from the moment the lights go down. Come see why this classic ghost story has become the second-longest running show in London history. The curtain goes up at a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, November 16 and 8 p.m. performances Saturday and Sunday (November 16-17).

The Historical Society of Montgomery County holds its annual luncheon on Saturday, November 16, at the Bay Pony Inn. Special guest Denis Cook will speak about the British occupation of Philadelphia and Montgomery County during the War of Independence.

The dogs appearing at the National Dog Show aren't the only animals in the county this weekend. The Berenstain Bears appear at the Elmwood Park Zoo on Saturday, November 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, the bears will nestle down with younger visitors for two story times. The credit union is promoting financial literacy through a day of educational crafts and games that include Plinko, Cash Cube, Bingo, a prize wheel, worksheets, coloring pages, and Thanksgiving-themed art projects.

Elmwood Park Zoo

Composer-pianist-bandleader Omar Sosa is in concert at Montgomery County Community College. Having earned a Smithsonian lifetime achievement award and multiple Grammy and BBC World Music nominations, Sosa fuses the expressive traditions of Africa and the Americas with a cosmopolitan mix of jazz, world music and electronic elements. The Los Angeles Times salutes his potential, saying he has "all the traits necessary to become one of the important figures in jazz." The concert, entitled the Afri-Lectric Experience, is Saturday, November 16, at 8 p.m.

There are enough events and activities this weekend to leave you panting with exhaustion. Why not circle three times and cozy up in a nice bed at one of our local accommodations? You'll be swathed in the lap of luxury, and we're sure you'll find the experience so satisfying, there will be nothing to pick a bone over.