Get on the right track

Family-friendly Preakness events lead up to the big race

May 08, 2008|By Brad Schleicher | Brad Schleicher,Sun reporter

For Baltimoreans, the month of May is quite an eventful time.

With the annual running of the million-dollar Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, there are a variety of adult and family-friendly events taking place throughout the city, leading up to the big race, starting tomorrow.

Live Music by the Crawdaddies --Kicking off an entire series of summer concerts, the Crawdaddies perform their signature Cajun, zydeco, roots rock and ska-based music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Belvedere Square, York Road and Belvedere Avenue. Admission is free. Go to belvederesquare.com.

35th Annual Preakness Parade --Witness a colorful march of floats, large helium balloon characters, equestrian performances, prestigious military units and entertaining marching bands beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. The parade will start at Howard and Pratt streets, travel east along Pratt Street through the heart of the Inner Harbor and end at Market Place and Pratt Street. Free.

MECU Pee Wee Preakness --Kids can compete in a Preakness race of their own by mounting a "Hippity Hop" (a large rubber ball with an attached handle) and bouncing around a miniature race course with other children beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Federal Hill Park, 800 Battery Ave. This event is for kids only. Admission is free.

Preakness Frog Hop --Cheer on amphibian contestants as they try to top record jumps of more than 8 feet beginning at noon Wednesday at the War Memorial Plaza in front of City Hall, 101 N. Gay St. Call 410-396-9392.

18th Annual Preakness Crab Derby --Watch as local celebrities jockey Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and compete for a prize of $500 to donate to their chosen charity beginning at noon May 15. Free. Call 410-685-6169 or go to lexing tonmarket.com.

Miller Lite Nites --Enjoy live music from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on May 15 with Alter Bridge, Airborne and Theory of a Dead Man and on May 16 with local band Mr. Greengenes. Both shows are for ages 21 and older. Go to powerplantlive.com.

Preakness Balloon Festival --Kids and adults can enjoy crafts and entertainment, refreshments and games while watching balloons launch and fly. Events run from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 15 and May 16 with a final launch at 6:30 a.m. May 17 at Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road in Ellicott City. Go to ballooningusa.com/preakness2008.

"Twas the Night Before Preakness" --Watch as Grammy nominee Ryan Shaw headlines a live concert from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 16 along the 800 block of Aliceanna St. in Harbor East. Go to harboreast.com.

Live Music by the Junkyard Saints --The Baltimore-based band will perform a mix of funk, swing, Latin, R&B and zydeco when it performs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 16 at Belvedere Square, York Road and Belvedere Avenue. Admission is free. Go to belvedere square.com.

Running of the Stakes --Watch the top three-year-old thoroughbreds race for $1,000,000 in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave. Post time is 6:15 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 410-542-9400 or go to ticketmaster.com.

brad.schleicher@baltsun.com

Unless otherwise noted, call 410-578-4451 or go to preaknesscelebration.com for more information.

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