Enticed by the prospect of refilling their beer mugs from morning until dusk, thousands flocked to the Pimlico infield. Sure, it's the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes -- but did we mention the beer?
One year ago, after Pimlico officials ended the practice of bringing beer to the event, the infield was relatively empty. Fans still can't tote their own beer, but on Saturday they were given the option of spending an extra $20 to have an unlimited supply of cold brew in mugs.
The ploy -- combined with racy commercials with the theme "Get Your Preak On," and popular musical acts -- resulted in a noticeable increase in attendance in the infield. O.A.R., the Zac Brown Band and Collective Soul will perform as part of the Preakness InfieldFest.
Of course, that didn't halt old tradition, including the showy hats donned by many women, similar to those at the Kentucky Derby each year.
Many of those patrons noted that the infield in the past was too dangerous because people were getting hurt by flying beer cans. The sale of the unlimited mugs will be halted at 11,000.
Other than beer and bands... there's also horse racing, we hear. The Preakness is the middle jewel in the Triple Crown.