'Dapper' crowds gather for annual Preakness at the Piazza

Andrew Kramer
May 19, 2018 - 10:44 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) - If you couldn't be in Baltimore Saturday to experience the Preakness Stakes in person, a watch party in Northern Liberties aimed to be a suitable alternative.

The damp weather didn't stop hundreds of people from packing the Schmidt's Commons in Northern Liberties for the 6th annual Preakness at the Piazza that had a Pimlico feel to it.

"We do Derby inspired food," explained organizer Stephanie Marakowski. "Our cocktails are inspired, it's the Black-Eyed Susan, the official Preakness cocktail."

And then there's the attire.

"We have a lot of fantastic hats and fascinators and shoes and bow ties," said Marakowski.

Jessica Jones enjoyed the atmosphere.

"Everybody's really fashionable, wearing really nice hats and looking dapper," she said. "I'm wearing a white dress with my derby hat that has a horse and some tickets on here and feathers."

Proceeds of this event benefit the National MS Society, a big reason Emily O'Brien and Jacob Kudoba attended.

"I have a friend who has MS and I've always wanted to come out to the Preakness, so it's our first time here," she said.

"It's really cool, seeing all these different costumes and everything and all this nice, fancy dressing and stuff," he added.

Adding to the excitement for them, they bet on Justify to win the Preakness. 

The rain stopped long enough for everyone to watch the race outdoors, on the massive television screen in the courtyard.​