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AfroPreak returns to Pimlico, a celebration of Black culture at Preakness

Posted at 12:33 PM, May 17, 2024

BALTIMORE — The AfroPreak lounge is returning to Pimlico for the 149th Preakness Stakes.

“We have expanded our footprint, we have expanded vendors. We have gone back into the community. 90% of the vendors are African-American owned companies,” said LaRian Finney, one of the event organizers.

AfroPreak is celebrating its third year. The vibrant and stylish lounge will be in the infield pavilion.

“Twice the size, double the tent from last year, double the food options, double the bar, we doubled everything. We doubled up!” said Azikiwe Deveaux, one of the co-founders.

The races can be seen from a private luxury tent featuring chef-curated menus, different DJs and finish line views. The founders wanted everyone to feel welcome at Preakness, so they created AfroPreak to bring Black culture to one of Baltimore's biggest events.

“Being a Park Heights child, I’ve had the opportunity for 50 years to walk past these beautiful doors that we call Preakness but what we’ve recognized is that we weren’t there. And when we were there, we were in capacities that didn’t reflect our greatness. So the times have shifted. The mindset has shifted on all sides. We recognize that Preakness is a stage that Black excellence should be displayed,” said Derrick Chase, one of the co-organizers.