Tens of thousands of people attend the Kentucky Derby each year. They deal with the traffic, the crowds, the heat, possibly rain – all to be a part of a Kentucky tradition that stands alone.

I attended the Derby for the first time this year. And as newbie, I was curious: What is it about the Derby experience that brings people not just from Kentucky, but from all over the world to be there in person? And more specifically, why the infamous infield? There’s no assigned seating, you can’t bring in your own alcohol. And the portable toilets.

Is that better than watching from the comfort of your own living room? Is it all worth it? So, I asked.

Listen to the audio in the player above.

Jonese Franklin is the WFPL Program Director and host of WFPL's All Things Considered.