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More than just a race

You'd think three days of IndyCar racing would be enough for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix to offer. But organizers are taking no chances.

With an schedule of events that includes concerts, volleyball games, kid-friendly activities and a seemingly endless stream of parties, the folks who put together the Grand Prix clearly want to ensure that no spectator gets bored — not even for a moment.

"Racing is not the only thing that's happening here," said Grand Prix president Jay Davidson. "It's kind of like a City Fair on steroids, with cars whipping around at 180 mph."

The non-racing highlights of this first Baltimore Grand Prix include:

Concerts: Singers and bands will be performing almost constantly onstage in the Party Zone, located at the corner of Howard and Camden streets. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday, a steady stream of performers will take to the stage, with only 15-30 minutes scheduled between acts. Highlights include Soul Island Rebels (1:30-2:15 p.m. Friday), Jimmie's Chicken Shack (8:15-10 p.m. Friday), All-Mighty Senators (4:15-5:15 p.m. Saturday), Collective Soul (8:30-10 p.m. Saturday) and Old Man Brown (3:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday).

And here's the best news: If you've got any type of ticket to the Grand Prix, it includes admission to the Party Zone.

Other sports: The Orioles and Ravens have flown the coop for the weekend, but that doesn't mean IndyCar racing will be the only sport in town — or, for that matter, in the stadium area.

The Action Sports Zone, located just south of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, will feature pro beach volleyball, go-karting, radio-controlled car racing and other activities.

For the family: Kids whose driving days are still years ahead of them should find plenty to do at the Family Zone, off Pratt Street and north of the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. There's the Hersheypark Road Tour, where they can get hugged by a giant Hershey's Kiss; the RAACE Foundation game wheel, a 22-foot-by-18-foot wheel offering the chance for T-shirts and other prizes; and an interactive booth set up by Port Discovery children's museum, where kids can create their own IndyCars or prize medals.

Par-ty: As if the Grand Prix isn't enough of a party by itself, the Budweiser Block Party, located between Charles and Light streets just south of the Hyatt (and offering a pristine view of Turn 4), will have area restaurants offering all manner of local delicacies, including crabs, oysters, shrimp and barbecue. And, of course, beer. To amp up the party atmosphere even more, 98 Rock (WIYY-FM) will be broadcasting live from the Grand Prix all weekend.

chris.kaltenbach@batsun.com

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