It’s the 141st running of The Preakness on Saturday (post time 6:45 p.m. ET, NBC), where since 1873 people have gathered on the infield at Pimlico Race Track to drink themselves stupid and possibly glimpse a portion of the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Routinely attracting crowds in excess of 100,000 in recent years, attendance plummeted in 2009 when officials banned two things — the BYOB policy, and the Running of the Porta-Potties. In the latter, intrepid (drunken) fans attempted to run across the roofs of a line of portable toilets, all the while being pelted by beer cans and other objects.
Not really — no one died. And things were all fine as long as the rest of the nation didn’t know. But when cell phone cameras became widespread, nervous Preakness officials ended the practice.
Since 2012 race attendance is back up in the 90,000-range, after they started InfiedFest — the Pimlico celebration in which you can buy beer with free refills, and there’s also musical entertainment and games.
But we honor the old traditions below, with a solemn nod to the debauchery that made this race great.