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Preakness Parade Tonight in Baltimore

It’s Black-Eyed Susan Day!

There is a lot of celebrating going on today in Baltimore, beginning with Sunrise at Old Hilltop (6–9 a.m. at Pimlico), the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, one of Pimlico’s oldest stake races (12:15 p.m. at Pimlico), and ending with the Preakness Celebration Parade of Lights at 8:30 p.m. in downtown Baltimore.

Clydesdales in ParadeThe world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will lead the parade on Pratt Street tonight, starting on Eutaw Street and ending at Market Place.  Lighted floats, marching bands, huge balloons, and equestrian units will entertain the crowds. 

In recent years, we parked in a garage near the Hippodrome Theatre and watched the parade from the street about a block away.  Or you may want to head over toward the reviewing stand near Pratt and Light streets.

Attending the parade gives you a way to participate in Preakness week for FREE, but you can still get tickets for the Preakness race visiting Ticketmaster.

Speaking of attending the race… for those of you who may have experienced the infield on race day in the past, it’s had a makeover.  Visitors will not be able to carry in their own refreshments, so bring some money with you.  ($3.50/beer, $1/bottled water, plus other beverages and food.)  In addition, you’ll enjoy the InfieldFEST presented by Bud Light – a concert with three rock performances including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top, Grammy-nominated Buckcherry and “Maryland’s #1 Rock Band” Charm City Devils!

You’ll also see the Toyota Pro Beach East Volleyball Tour, showcasing top women players, kicking off its 2009 season with professional beach volleyball doubles tournaments from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information (yes, there are more events!) be sure to visit the website. 

NBC Sports will broadcast from Pimlico live, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.  If the weather forecast for rain doesn’t change by tomorrow, that might be my choice for watching the race.  Whichever you choose, don’t miss Baltimore’s big day.  And at least go to the parade tonight!

P.S.  It’s only about 35 miles and 45 minutes from Crofton to Pimlico, if you’re going to the races, but I’d allow time for traffic.  The parade is about 25 miles and 35 minutes from here, and we’ve never encountered too much traffic going there.

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