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TOUCHES OF PREAKNESS FEVER: Whether thoroughbreds get...


TOUCHES OF PREAKNESS FEVER: Whether thoroughbreds get your blood running or not, here are some options to explore Around the Inner Harbor if you'd like a touch of Preakness fever in the coming week.

Today, the fifth annual Fells Point Preakness Celebration starts at noon. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts and food at the Broadway Market Square in Fells Point. The event also is scheduled for tomorrow, starting at noon.

On Wednesday, three tall ships that call Baltimore home -- the Pride of Baltimore, the Clipper City and the Lady Maryland -- will take part in the fifth annual AT&T; Great Schooner Race.

Starting time is 3 p.m. from the Inner Harbor Finger Piers. The sail-loaded ships will head outward for Fort McHenry -- and then race back to the Inner Harbor Amphitheater. (Tip on a good seat: The top floor of the World Trade Center or Federal Hill.)

Wednesday also means post time for Baltimore area frog racers. The city's annual frog hop will be contested at the Broadway Market Square in Fells Point. Post time: noon. Frogs must be at least 4 inches from head to tail. The winner goes to the big time of frog jumping -- the legendary Calaveras County, Calif., frog fete.

Also Wednesday, check out Rash Field to see little tykes race on hobby horses in the Pee-Wee Preakness, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After work, throughout next week, Bud Light Nights will keep more than a few folks downtown. This is a series of happy-hour events featuring live music that are scheduled through Friday. Water Street will be closed to traffic during the block parties, which start at 5:30 p.m. each day, except for today, when the party begins at 7:30 p.m.

And finally, Preakness Eve, next Friday, the Pimlico Preakness Parade rolls through downtown. It begins at 7 p.m. on Martin Luther King Boulevard at Eutaw Place, proceeds east on Chase Street, south on Charles Street and east on Pratt Street to the finish line at President Street. See bands, 50-foot-tall balloon

TC characters, gymnasts and the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Information on any of these events (and many others elsewhere in Maryland): 837-3030.

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