Now in its 87th year, Donkey Derby Days tops the list of favorite Cripple Creek events.
People from all over the world descend on downtown, drawn by a chance to watch a race inspired by the town’s resident donkey herd, believed to be distant relatives of the original donkeys from the town’s Gold Rush days. Enjoy games, live entertainment, heritage competitions and don’t miss meeting our new, baby donkeys!
The origins of this popular Colorado donkey festival date back to the 1930s, when local businessman Charley Lehew thought a Cripple Creek festival would attract people in the summer months. It wasn’t long before he and two business partners settled on donkey racing. Together, they built a race track, solicited advertising, and arranged concessions and entertainment in time for the first-ever Donkey Derby Days festival.
Today, this two-day jamboree is one of the most popular of all the Cripple Creek events held throughout the year, and admission to this exciting Cripple Creek festival is 100% FREE.
The donkey races aren’t the only things going on this weekend, however. Visit our street vendors, enjoy our live entertainment and participate in a host of other family activities, such as our heritage competitions or our activities for children–guaranteed to make this weekend the best Donkey Derby Days ever. Don’t forget Fido–we have a dog show where your best friend can compete for prizes!