Six Things to Bring, Leave Home for 2019 Preakness Stakes

Events / Travel
Fans at Pimlico for the 2018 Preakness Stakes. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Preakness Stakes takes over Baltimore on May 18. If you’re planning a trip to Pimlico Race Course to celebrate the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, we have your list of things you’re definitely going to want with you as well as the items you’re going to want to leave at home. Just be sure to check out the full list of permitted and prohibited items before you head to the track!

Whether you’re planning to be at InfieldFest or the clubhouse for the Preakness, here’s what you should have with you:

1. Pack a poncho

While they’re not the most glamorous rain protection, ponchos rule the day at racetracks because they’re packable, portable, and most of all legal. Umbrellas are not welcome at Pimlico on Preakness day, so plan accordingly.

2. Sunscreen

Yep, this comes right after ponchos, but with good reason – the weather in Maryland can change on a dime, so having sun and rain protection with you is a must. The point is to eat crabs in Baltimore, not look like one.

3. A fully-charged power bank

This one is a must: trust me, these things are more precious than oxygen when you know you’re going to be at an event for a day. If you’re planning on Uber-ing to and from the Preakness, or if you want to post to social media at all, ensure a working cell phone at the end of the day by taking along a power bank.

4. Wear rain shoes

Unless the forecast guarantees sunny weather for Preakness day, wear waterproof boots or shoes. This goes double for people planning to be at InfieldFest: if there’s mud, you want to be prepared. Plus, what’s a festival look without a pair of Wellies?

5. A beach blanket

Folding chairs are prohibited this year, so if you want a place to sit and you don’t have a reserved seat, plan to bring a beach blanket with you.

6. Bring cash

Wanna bet? Then you’re going to need some cash. Stop by the bank before you go to the track so that can you avoid lines and fees at the ATMs at Pimlico and play the Preakness with ease.


Now that you have your packing list, let’s take a look at the things you should leave behind.

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1. If you can consume it, leave it at home

This year, no outside food or drink is allowed on Preakness or Black-Eyed Susan day. That means you can’t bring in water, food, and definitely not alcohol. But not to worry - all of those can be purchased at the track!

2. Selfie sticks and large cameras

You can take as many photos as you want at the Preakness (selfie or otherwise!) but leave your large camera (anything over 35 mm) and selfie stick at home.

3. Reusable water bottles

Leave your reusable water bottles and camelbacks behind – they’re not allowed at the Preakness or Black-Eyed Susan day. While you can bring an empty, clear water disposable bottle to the grandstand and clubhouse, those are forbidden at InfieldFest.

4. Balloons, balls, and Frisbees

Resist the temptation to bring toys to InfieldFest – there will be no bouncing beach balls as Diplo plays a set. After all, projectiles like Frisbees, balloons, and balls can really scare the racehorses, so leave them out of your Preakness bag.

5. Backpacks

When you’re getting ready to go to the Preakness, make sure your belongings aren’t in a backpack or a duffle bag.  Fanny packs and purses are fine, but leave the bulky bags in the closet on Preakness day.

6. Drones

As tempting as it may be to get your own aerial footage (or to enjoy your own floating hammock, because that looks dope) at the Preakness, leave your drone at home. They’re strictly prohibited at Pimlico, so don’t make an expensive mistake by bringing one to the track.

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