Plenty of chances to horse around

In Brief

May 02, 2001|By Karin Remesch | Karin Remesch,SUN STAFF

There's no need to wait until the Preakness Stakes to get into the spirit. Starting May 11, giddyap for eight days of hot air balloon and schooner races, concerts, block parties, marching bands, floats and more. And best of all, admission to all but one of the events is free. Organizers unveiled plans yesterday for Preakness Celebration 2001, a festival jammed with more than two dozen events that will lead up to the 126th running of the Preakness May 19 at Pimlico Race Course.

"Once the dust has settled over the track at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, the attention focuses on Baltimore," said Stephen A. Favazza, president of Preakness Celebration. Highlights of the weeklong celebration include:

BB&T Hot Air Balloon Festival, May 11-13 Oregon Ridge and Druid Hill parks. Rise early to catch the action; most launches start at 6 a.m.

Cosamin 5-K Digital Harbor Dash, 9 a.m. May 12 at the Can Company in Canton. Not a new race, only a new race route and a new name. $20 in advance, $25 on race day.

Cingular Wireless Preakness Parade. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 12 along Pratt Street. Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick is the honorary grand marshal.

BalloonGlow & Concert. 2 p.m.- 9 p.m. May 12 at Oregon Ridge Park. Featuring performances among others by Rhumba Club and O'Malley's March. At dusk, dozens of illuminated hot air balloons provide the backdrop.

Contreau Preakness Pub. Get betting advice from the jockeys from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 14-18 Mother's Federal Hill Grille on South Charles Street. Professional jockeys bartend nightly for charity.

Miller Lite Nites. May 16-18 at Power Plant Live (formerly the Brokerage) at Market Place. Live music featured at happy hour nightly.

For a complete schedule of events, call 410-837-3030 or visit www.Preakness Celebration. org.

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