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Preakness Party

Updated: Saturday, May 18 2013, 07:23 PM EDT
Chuck & Mary Kay Nabit made a tradition of throwing a big, raucous pre-Preakness party years ago, when they'd first acquired their beautiful estate, 'Cedarwood,' on North Charles Street. They suspended the bash for a few years, and brought it roaring back this year, on the eve of the race. I'd spent the afternoon out at Pimlico for the Black-Eyed Susan races, and then made my way to the party post-race. Guests filled the gallery and enjoyed nibbles such as bacon-wrapped crackers, stuffed endive leaves and crab balls. The party spilled out onto the rear terrace through open French doors, where seating areas and tables had been set up. The party this year had a Havana theme, and guests dressed accordingly, in guyaberra shirts, hurrache sandals and fedoras. (Even the powder rooms were properly outfitted with toilet paper imprinted with the image of Fidel Castro-- nice touch!) While wandering across the terrace, I caught up with Mike Schwartz, Sloane Brown & Steve Sobelman, Nancy Grasmick and recently retired Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan. Latin band Mambo Combo was just getting started when I had to head out, scheduled for another party a few blocks away. I'm sure I missed out on some fun dining and dancing that followed, but it was clearly going to be a long, joyful evening celebrating in the spirit of Cuba.Preakness Party

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