I Don't Get It: Derby Infield

Today, we kick off a new series titled: "I Don't Get It." Each Friday, one of us will each share one traditional Kentucky element that just doesn't make sense to us. With a group of such diverse and opinionated belles, this is sure to be interesting!

Drunk people, obnoxious college students, girls flashing everyone, and mud wrestling.

No, I'm not talking about Bonnaroo or Mardi Gras, I'm talking about the infield at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby.

When I think "Derby," I think of wealthy people, celebrities (although more B and C- list than A-list), mint juleps, fine bourbon, pretty dresses, and fabulous hats. The singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" is robust and full of state pride, whether you're a lifelong Kentuckian or just in town for the day. Even those who don't know the words try to fake it. For those few minutes, my Kentucky heart swells with pride.

This just doesn't match up:
image via Churchill Downs
Image via Louisville.com
Keeping it Klassy (via ambergris on Flickr)
As a state (um, Commonwealth), we already have stigmas of overalls and shoeless feet. When I see the coverage of the Derby on TV, and they cut to the bead-wearing, mud-covered, keg-standing flashers, it's like I'm watching what happens in the hours before filming a Girls Gone Wild video.

When I do Derby, count me among the ones who will get dolled up and pretend like I'm a classy southern lady with a fabulous hat and a genuine interest in the horses - not one of the flashers in the infield.

Have you ever done Derby infield? Am I being a judgmental stick-in-the-mud?