Beer at the Preakness: Crowd says infield got it right

May 21, 2011|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

This is the year the Preakness got the beer right!

At least that’s what infield revelers seem to be saying. Trying to curb alcohol use (or abuse) led to banning the bring-your-own and replacing it with buy-your-own. That ended the parade of beer-filled coolers streaming into the infield, but long lines at beer stands made chugging difficult, even with the bottomless cup.

 But Kellie Dickerson, 35, proclaimed this year a success. She came to Baltimore from Virginia Beach, her first Preakness, and said the lines were quick and the beer plentiful. “Short, easy access,” she said. She was here with two friends, Cathy Kincaid, 49, and Peter O’Sullivan, 53.

 “We haven’t had to wait in line all day,” Dickerson said. “It’s awesome!”

 Meanwhile, more easily accessible beer hasn’t led to more problems for police. The cops are reporting no significant problems, in the infield or elsewhere, but they have hundreds of officers at the ready, just in case. At 1:30 p.m., police posted a message on Twitter noting that an estimated 10,000 people had gathered in the infield. We don’t yet have a count of how many people are at Preakness; last year’s attendance was close to 97,000.

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