Happy Friday! In the spirit of the weekend, we’d like to introduce a special guest blogger here on TwentyTweets. Roxanne is an old high school friend of mine, who lives and works in Pennsylvania and has a lot of opportunities to embrace the local, more Southern culture. It’s crazy to hear that a lot of twenty-something, New Englanders haven’t heard of the Preakness, which is one of the biggest day drinking parties south of New York. For those of you scratching your heads, it’s a horse race. The second leg of the Triple Crown, to be exact. But Roxanne’s experience is a little different from what you might imagine, and similar to what most twenty-somethings experience who attend. With that said, she graciously agreed to share her drunken shenanigans from the 137th Preakness Stakes with all of us. Read on!
After many years of wanting to go, I finally attended my first Preakness Stakes. As a former Baltimorean, Preakness was one of those events that I just had to get to in my lifetime. As the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby precedes it and the Belmont Stakes follow it. While a lot of people go for the actual race, my friends and I had a different agenda in mind.
Ten of us arrived at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, early in the morning to begin the outrageous day-drinking binge. We paid an additional $20 to be a part of the “Infield Mug Club,” which provided us with all-you-can-drink beer. One of the coolest things in the infield (besides the hundreds of kegs, of course) was all of the chalkboards that everyone could sign! The morning was calm but before we knew it, the infield was packed with thousands of inebriated people of various ages.
When rapper Wiz Khalifa took stage to headline InfieldFEST, everyone went nuts. We tried to push our way to the front of the stage, but no such luck. The show was great… except for one minor detail. If anyone’s familiar with the Ravens/Steelers rivalry (think: Patriots/Jets), you will appreciate how loud we booed when Wiz started singing Black and Yellow. I still cannot believe he had the nerve to sing that in Baltimore to a crowd of mostly Baltimore Ravens fans. (Like really?!)
Anyways, as the day went on, the infield got crazier. My phone battery died, and fittingly enough, my last tweet was: “Idk if I’m alive #Preakness.” At that point, we lost track of how many times we’d filled up at the beer stations, and a few of my friends were already getting sick. And then… It was naptime.
How long exactly were we sleeping, you ask? Well, long enough to miss the entire Maroon 5 performance! It was the definition of an epic fail, and I’m still kicking myself for missing my dream guy, Adam Levine, perform. So college, right?
Moving on, it was time for the main event. However, we didn’t see a second of the race. Apparently, this year’s 137th Preakness Stakes winner was I’ll Have Another, who had actually won the Kentucky Derby weeks before! Congrats to him. Wish I had seen it… But right after the race, things were absolute chaos. The fill up stations were out of beer, people were passing out in the grass, and we were missing a few friends. Somehow during this commotion, however, I managed to get myself one of the official Preakness drinks: the Black-Eyed Susan.
Tracking down our friends and transportation home with dead phones under extreme intoxication… A complete nightmare. But hey, we did all make it home in one piece (some of us not until the next day…). Most importantly, we survived the Preakness Infield, and successfully got “Preaknasty!”
For any of you twenty-somethings who want to experience the madness of the Preakness Infield in the future; I suggest you learn from my story and follow these simple, yet extremely crucial strategies for survival:
- Follow the buddy system.
- BYOF-bring your own food. You are surprisingly allowed to bring food and coolers, so save yourself from paying absurd prices and pack your own snacks and lunch. Don’t forget to bring your favorite ‘drunk munchies’!
- Wear sunscreen. Preakness is always the third Saturday in May and is usually very hot and sunny, so make sure you apply (and re-apply) plenty of sunscreen.
- “I think we should get water, where do we get water?” Unfortunately you’re not allowed to bring inside any beverages, including water. Make sure you keep yourself adequately hydrated (and no, beer does not cut it!).
- Save your battery. Between taking pictures, tweeting, updating your Facebook status, texting and calling to find your friends, your phone will be dead before your favorite band even goes on stage. So try conserving some battery life early on in the day.
- Bring extra toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s porta-potties only!
- Determine a meeting place with your friends for post-Preakness… BEFORE you start drinking. We definitely failed at that one.
- Say no to street vendors. After not buying a shirt inside the infield I was (un)lucky enough to have spotted a street vendor outside the gates selling I survived the Preakness Infield shirts. Look at my newest purchase (ugh!)
- Think twice before going out afterwards. You won’t be making it anywhere. So arrange and locate your DD home.
Although I didn’t see a single horse or make a single bet, I survived my first Preakness Stakes. And I absolutely cannot wait to go again next year!
Have you been to a race in the Triple Crown? Share your experience @20sTweet!