Hosting a Preakness Party
It’s great fun hosting a Preakness Party! The Preakness Stakes, held at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, Maryland takes place on the third Saturday in May – just two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. This year it will be on Saturday, May 21. Interested in attending the Preakness? Check our the great Local Deals that often pop up for tickets! https://www.groupon.com/deals/gl-preakness-stakes-via-fanxchangeThose attending the event – I did many moons ago – will either get all dressed up and enjoy the race from the grandstand, or are nice and comfy, wearing flip-flops & shorts as they cheer the race from the infield with a cold beer in hand. The vast majority of followers of the horse race will be watching this 2nd race of the triple crown from the comfort of the home. That’s how we do each year.
In 2014, I held a Preakness Party for friends and their families. Living in South Florida, my friends were not as familiar with Maryland fare, especially how to eat a steamed blue claw crab covered in Old Bay. We ordered a bushel of crabs that were shipped from Maryland the day before and made other tasty typical foods. Great time was had by all, “hun.”
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Hosting a Preakness Party
The running of the race is typically around 6 PM on the Saturday. We invited guests to arrive with time to mingle a bit before watching the race. Depending on how formal you want it, you could invite guests to come dressed as if they were going to the actual race. Ladies will wear a gorgeous hat and men in some seersucker. For our Preakness party it was super casual, especially since we knew guests were going to be diving into crabs.
Anything doing with Maryland always involves its state flag. Use red, black and yellow and you can’t go wrong. Yellow cocktail napkins, red & white striped straws and splashes of back here and there gave the Preakness Party and true Bawl-more feel.
I knew the crabs would be opened and messy. I ordered bibs, mallets and festive napkins. I purchased loads of paper towels to have on the tables as guests delved into their crab feast. We kept the garbage cans lined and ready to easily receive the guests pouring the shells and trash.
I lined our long rectangular tables to form a long farmhouse type feel. Gingham tablecloths that were covered in newspaper before we ate help set the scene of a backyard feast. That is super important when eating crabs.
Preakness Party Food
Three things are synonymous with Baltimore, the home of the Preakness: beer, blue crabs and Old Bay. I lived in the Baltimore area for 12 years and in no time I learned how to properly crack open and pull out all the yumminess of a crab. Of course the crab and most other foods are smothered in their very favorite spice blend, Old Bay. If you don’t have Old Bay, I recommend that you add it to your spice rack.
Here was our menu:
- Black Eyed Susan (state flower of Maryland) Punch: 1 ¼ cup vodka, 4 cups orange juice,1 ¼ cup light rum,¾ cup Triple Sec, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, 4 cups pineapple juice
- Assortment of appetizer from Trader Joe’s set out on table
- Buying Live Crabs shipped from Maryland was perfect! We ordered a bushel.Pick Your Steamed Crab Delivery Date
- Tom’s Peel-and-Eat Old Bay Shrimp
- Corn on the Cob
- French fries
- Cole Slaw from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
- Oyster Crackers to munch on
- Watermelon for dessert
We did some betting on which horse would win. The kids had fun with it. Be sure to pay attention to the time because the race is quick. You don’t want to miss it!
Looking forward to learning how you enjoyed your Preakness Party!
Spice up your Preakness Party with crabs and seafood!