Preakness Stakes has two decidedly different crowds: Those in the stands and the ones here on in the infield, celebrating Infield Fest. The younger, more casual crowd took in concerts, played bar games and spent $20 for a mug that allowed them to drink all they could consume.
By Peter Granitz
One day since the Preakness, residents in the immediate vicinity of the Pimlico track are already talking about how to force race organizers to revert its alcohol policy.
Sidney Lawrence has lived in the area for 14 years. He doesn’t need to know the official tally of the race, he says, because he noticed it was tamer than year’s past.
Race organizers used to allow spectators to bring in alcohol but have since cramped down on the practice. Lawrence says people in the neighborhood collectively miss the original plan, even if they never make it in.
"We in Maryland can afford to deal with one day of raucousness," he says. "For this institution to be a continued success, you really need to have the party atmosphere."
Lawrence sells his yard to people to park their cars in on race day, and he says the lax alcohol policy is better for business, and his pocket.