If you're not from town or not into horse racing, then you probably don't know much about the Preakness (or anything at all). It's the second race in the Triple Crown and takes place here in our town.
Preakness is so much more than just a race, though. It's a week long event with crab racing, frog hopping, concerts, hot air balloons, and a day long party at the race track before the big race.
I wouldn't dream of taking Billy to Pimlico on Old Hilltop for the big race. It's an adult event, let's be honest. And personally, I'm not that big into horse racing. But some of the other events are perfect for him.
I thought he'd love the hot air balloons.
So, I took him to the balloon festival (held in a different part of town from the horse track). We met up with a former coworker of mine, who brought his three-year-old son.
This was the balloon glow, where all of the balloons fire up at the same time. It's really lovely.
Did Billy care? Nope.
He and the other little boy played in the sand the whole time. What sand, you ask? Oh, well they held the event on a golf course, so the kids were building sand castles in the sand trap. I'd post a pic, but blogger is having difficulty with the photos function. My apologies.
This is a really fun event, but I have some major complaints about it.
The Balloon Glow is held at the Turf Valley Inn and Golf Course. They made us park several miles away at the county fairgrounds and bused us over to the event. The buses were loading only one at a time, making the wait to get to and from parking to the event VERY long, especially at an event overloaded with young children.
The glow ended at 8:30. I thought it would be perfect timing to get back to the car and he would sleep on the way home, meaning that Billy wasn't up too late past his bedtime. We got in line for the bus at 8:30. However, by the time we got in our car it was 10:30. That's right. Not just Billy, but the majority of the little kids-toddlers!- were stuck waiting in line for almost 2 hours well past bedtime just to get to the cars.
You have to wonder, since the event does not use any of Turf Valley's facilities other than the golf course, why it's held there. Why not hold it at the county fairgrounds where the parking was? They certainly had the space for it. I could also name at least three other better venues where parking would be on site. I would have to think this would be better, allowing visitors to spend more time spending money at the festival instead of in line for the shuttle bus.
It was fun and I'd go again, but I'd really have to plan next time for the bus debacle.