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Preakness Madness


During Preakness Week, there's no excuse for boredom in Baltimore. Every day is a celebration of fun and entertainment, some of it connected to the famed Preakness Stakes next Saturday, but all of it aimed at having a good time. The only thing certain: there's enough action for everyone.

Take today's events. Early risers viewed a hot-air balloon race at Druid Hill Park. Kids partook of rides, puppets and miniature horses. Revelers in Fells Point hold their Preakness Celebration with live music, arts and crafts. A fashion show at Macy's Hunt Valley has a Preakness theme. There's a Balloon Glow and Concert at Oregon Ridge Park and a black-tie gala at the Towson Center tonight.

That's just the beginning. Tomorrow's events include an exciting Mother's Day "hare and house" balloon chase at 7 a.m. at Oregon Ridge Park, picnic cookouts at Boordy Vineyards and an antique show at Belvedere Square.

Want more? How about "Sunrise at Old Hilltop" at 7 a.m. Monday to size up the horses; Wednesday's Frog Hop at Fells Point and schooner races at the harbor; Thursday's Crab Derby at the Lexington Market and Triple Crown Ball at the Hyatt; Friday's Preakness Parade and harbor fireworks.

Even the 117th running of the famed horse race doesn't stop the activity for long. There's the semi-formal dance sponsored by the West Indian Ballroom Dance and Cultural Association that night, the Preakness Auction and Champagne Brunch at Harbor Court the next morning and a block festival in Lake Clifton Park on Sunday.

Caught your breath yet? Don't forget Pimlico's $700,000 special race today; the Dixie Handicap and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes races on Friday and the Geisha Handicap on post-Preakness Sunday.

We're still not done. Try the region's largest African violet show this weekend at Towson Market Place; nightly music on Water Street; the White Marlin Parade and Festival in Ocean City today; the Potomac Hunt Races steeplechase in Seneca tomorrow; the world-class Tour Du Pont cycling event in Hagerstown Monday and Sharpsburg Tuesday; a Preakness dance party at the Bethesda Metro Center on Friday; the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team Olympic Trials on the Savage River next weekend, and the East Coast's largest bluefish tournament next Saturday on the Chesapeake.

The Preakness is no longer just a horse race; it's a 10-day happening.

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