Spend this rainy Saturday in Montgomery County

Bil Bowden

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"Bring an umbrella, it's going to rain. It'll be cool outside with a high of 59."

Of course. It's spring and Saturday, which makes a safe bet that the official forecast is spot on.  So, with that in mind, the lawn won't be cut, painting won't be done, posts won't be dug. And you and the kids are stuck inside for the day. So, let's pile everyone in the car and go for a ride to Montgomery County and Bucks County.

Even without special events, the ride through Montgomery County is a pleasant drive. It's hard to believe that quiet Harleysville (population 9,000), our initial destination, is less than an hour from Philadelphia and 1,562,000 people.

Harleysville, Pa., is about 106 miles away from York, depending on the route taken, but it's only about 33 miles north of downtown Philadelphia. Saturday, the Church of the Holy Spirit (COHS) hosts its seventh annual Fair Day and Pie Festival. Making a drab day a little brighter is easy with a strawberry rhubarb, crumb top apple or honey cherry pie.

Now, the COHS (Episcopal) fair doesn't pretend to be Disney World or Cedar Point. It's a small festival with crafters, a plant sale, festival food (funnel cakes?), a flea market and of course, the pies. Kathy Clipp and her committee implemented Plan B, where the festival will be held entirely indoors and out of the rain.  Proceeds from the festival go to the Keystone Opportunity Center.  According to its website, the center "helps community members in need by offering a comprehensive array of social services that educate, encourageand empowerthem to become self-sufficient."

Earlier this week, about a dozen girls with the Girls' Friendly Society (GFS) gathered to make pies for the festival. It was a learning experience for some, for others a typical day in the kitchen for GFS. Those pies will be for sale, but another 100 pies will also be sold. Last year's entries included such intriguing names as Chocolate Peanut Butter, German chocolate, Artesian Double Cherry, Peach Blackberry, fresh Tahiti Squeeze Sublime, Apple Pear and Key Lime. The GFS made more traditional fare, as blackberry, cherry and apple.

From the website-- The Girls' Friendly Society of the United States of America is an international, not-for-profitorganization for girls and young women.  The program is parish based and open to girls of anyrace, religion, or nationality between the ages of 5 and 21.

Just six miles from Harleysville is Soudertown, the home of another Saturday festival, Penn View Christian School's 55th annual Country Fair and Auction. This fair begins Friday at 4 p.m.with a food court, chicken barbeque, pony rides and homemade strawberry pies. At 6 p.m., the auction of quilts, trips, gift cards and homemade crafts begins. Saturday morning at 7:30, the festival gets off to a rousing start  with an all-you-can-eat breakfast, followed by an 11:30 a.m. helicopter candy drop. This event continues rain or shine until mid afternoon. And, kids games are under a tent.

If that's not enough for your family, the Aark Wildlife Rehabilition and Education Center's open house is Saturday and Sunday. Just about 11 miles east of Penn View Christian School near Chalfont, Pa., the Aark posts on its website -- As the Ark of Noah provided refuge from extinction for the world’s wildlife species, the Aark provides temporary sanctuary for thousands of injured and orphaned birds and mammals annually...  The Spring and Fall Open Houses are the only times we can allow the public on our premises.  We always look forward to showing off our animals and what we have been doing for them.  This time of year there are lots of babies to see.

The center accepts mammals, birds, and reptiles and amphibians. On its Facebook page, the center has photos of deer, racoons, fox, osprey, owls, squirrels, hawks, rabbits...

During the open house, check out the silent auction, face painting, kids' animal encounters and festival food.  Admission is $10 PER CAR,  11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.