Preakness 2012 encourages entrepreneurship in Pimlico neighborhood

Park Heights business
(Sun photo by Hanah Cho)

For $3 a person, you can use the bathroom of Carol Hines' home on Winner St, across from Pimlico race course.

Hines decided to give entrepreneurship a try for the first time this year, one of many enterprises that pop up on Preakness day in the Park Heights and Pimlico neighborhoods.


Besides offering her restroom for Preakness attendees, Hines cooked up some of her best dishes, including jerk chicken, curry chicken and barbecue ribs.

"The goal I have today is that all my food is sold," she said as she was setting up on the front yard.


Just down the street, veteran sellers Dyirel Brown, 12, and his brother, Dejour Chris Brown, 10, were selling hot dogs, cookies, soda and Cheez-It crackers.

This was the third year that they set up a small table to raise some money -- this time for summer camp.

By 10 am, Nearly three hours since opening, the brothers registered $33 in sales.

One sale included a woman who bought a straw hat for $5 after forgetting hers at home.

"It's been going kind of good," Dyirel said.

The two, along with their grandmother, Vivian Smith, plan to stay out there until the last race of the day.

They hope to make $500.

For her first time setting up shop to sell her hand-designed hats at the Preakness, Mary Payton is doing pretty well.

By 11 a.m, she and her sister Joyce Freeland had sold two hats for $220 -- a Black-Eyed Susan-designed hat and another lavender one.

Besides Payton and Freeland, other like-minded entrepreneurs were selling jewelry, sunflowers, sunglasses and other apparel, trying to grab a piece of what is expected to be tens of thousands, if not more, in spending that takes place during the Preakness, the state's single largest sporting event.

Payton said she didn't know what to expect when they set up a small table along Park Heights and Hayward Avenues, where scores of spectators walk through to get to the nearby race track.

"We look forward to next year," Freeland announced, pleased with how sales were going so far.


The two ladies brought 10 straw hats to sell, and Payton said she was "clamoring to sell all of them."

"I took a chance," she said. "People out here are nice."

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