How to Throw the Perfect Preakness at Home Party

Events / Travel
Crab cakes, Berger cookies and Black-Eyed Susans: ingredients for a perfect Preakness party.

This year, the Preakness Stakes is back in its usual spot two weeks after the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and Pimlico will have limited fans in attendance. If you’re planning to watch from home, we have your guide on how to throw the ultimate party to celebrate the middle jewel of the Triple Crown below.


What’s a party without a few decorations? Below are some fast and affordable Preakness party decorations for your consideration.

Be on-brand with the commemorative 2021 Preakness glasses – they’re the perfect vessel for a Black-Eyed Susan, the official drink of the event! (More on that below.)

Kind of obsessed with this horse racing streamer!

And I’m also deeply into this Maryland flag banner.

These Thoroughbred-themed cupcake/appetizer toppers are adorable and very festive.

Oooh, horse racing-themed centerpieces!

Do you need 50 miniature Maryland state flags in your life? I bet you do.

Maryland foods for your viewing party:

Every Preakness viewing party needs some Maryland-inspired dishes. Here’s a selection of morsels for you to have on-hand for May 15:

Crab Dip:

If you’ve never had crab dip before, you’re in for a good time. Cheesy, hearty, and savory, this is a great dish for a cozy fall Preakness at home. I really love this version from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but you can’t go wrong with the official Old Bay recipe!

Wikimedia Commons

Crab cakes:

I will not judge you for grabbing some crab cakes from the grocery store and popping them in your over (I will do the exact same thing), but Once Upon a Chef has your back if you want to make them from scratch. Alternatively, if you’re vegan or just don’t want to deal with making crab, One Green Planet has you covered.

Stuffed ham:

I’d never heard of it before, but I am intrigued: the official Visit Maryland website has an easy recipe for this centuries-old dish which I would definitely like to try when I have a small army to feed.

Baltimore pit beef:

It’s a roast beef sandwich turned up to 11. You know you want it, and the Washington Post shares a recipe from Baltimore’s own Beef Barons.

Wikimedia Commons

Berger cookies:

I’d never experienced the wonder and the glory of Maryland’s Berger cookies until my friend Stephen Bardsley introduced them to me; and, let me tell you, I am a much happier person having learned about them. There’s time to order the original before the Preakness, but here’s a good copycat recipe from King Arthur Flower if you want to make your own!

Smith Island cake:

A multi-layer cake that’s just as beautiful as it is decadent? Yes, please! Once again, we turn to Visit Maryland for two spins on this classic. I’ve never seen icing made in either of these ways, so I’m very game to try this!


You’re going to need something to accompany all of this delicious food! From cocktails to beer to nonalcoholic options, we have something for everyone below.

The official cocktail of the Preakness Stakes is the Black-Eyed Susan, and if you’re a fan of fruity and refreshing cocktails, this one’s for you. The Spruce Eats has a very nice version for you to enjoy this Preakness.

Another cocktail beloved by Marylanders is the Orange Crush. Fresh-squeezed orange juice for adults, this delicious beverage pack a punch and taste like summer.

Are you a beer drinker? Then be sure to snag some National Bohemian (lovingly known as Natty Boh’ in Baltimore) for your Preakness Party. Even if you’ve never had the beer before, I bet you’ll recognize the mascot when you see it!

Want to serve a sophisticated mocktail with Maryland roots? Meet the Salty Sage, which sounds absolutely wonderful for a fall afternoon of horse racing.


Wanna play the Preakness? Check out 1/ST Bet, and app and website that offers legal betting on the Preakness Stakes. Not only are they the official digital wagering platform of the Preakness, but they also sponsor our Gambling Calculator which will help you figure out the costs of your bet. Also, if you sign up for 1/ST BET using promo code 500ABR, new players will receive a special offer that will start you out with up to a $500 bonus. Just be sure to get an account set up before Preakness Saturday – sometimes it can take a little while to process funds into your betting account. Still have questions? Check out a post called “Betting on Horse Racing, Explained” which offers advice for new horseplayers; or, visit Dos and Don’ts for betting online to learn more about playing the ponies from home.

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