Donkey Derby Days - Cripple Creek

Now in its 82nd 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 other fun family activities that will make your visit one to remember!

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 partnersDonkey Derby Days, photo courtesy of Brad Armstrong 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 the 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!

Donkey Derby Days 2013 Schedule of Events

 

Friday, June 28

7:00 p.m.                        OPENING NIGHT!!! "Girl of the Golden West" Melodrama at the Butte Theater

Saturday, June 29

7:00 a.m.                        Pancake Breakfast (Cripple Creek Fire Department)
8:00 a.m.                        Two Mile High Club Booth Opens
Information Booth Opens
Petting Zoo Opens
10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.     Chicken Poop Bingo – South Side of Stage
10:00 a.m.                       Hairy Legs Contest – Stage
“Big Ass Challenge” Media Race – Double Eagle to 2nd Street
Donkey Rides Begin
Kids Activities At the Park
Parade Check In – Jail Museum
10:30 a.m.                       Best Beard Contest – Stage
11:00 a.m.                       Beer Garden Opens
12:00 Noon                      Parade
1:00 p.m.                         Smokin' Guns Skit – Stage
"Girl of the Golden West" Melodrama at the Butte Theater
1:30 p.m.                         Draw For Donkey Derby Race – Stage
Announce Parade Awards – Stage
Donkey Calling Contest
2:00 p.m.                         Donkey Derby Race – Jail Museum to Cripple Creek District Museum
2:30 p.m.                         Mountain Mama Contest – Stage
3:00 p.m.                         Announce Donkey Derby Race Awards – Stage
Tobacco Spitting Contest – Stage
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.       Steak Dinner – Wildwood Casino Parking Lot
6:00 p.m.                         Two Mile High Club Booth Closes
5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.       Saturday Night Street Dance Featuring Exit West – Stage
7:00 p.m.                         "Girl of the Golden West" Melodrama at the Butte Theater
9:30 p.m.                         Beer Garden Closes

Sunday, June 30

7:00 a.m.                         Pancake Breakfast (Cripple Creek Fire Department)
8:00 a.m.                         Two Mile High Club Booth Opens
Information Booth Opens
10:00 a.m.                       Donkey Rides Begin
Kids Activities at the Park
11:00 a.m.                       Donkey Calling Contest – Stage
12:00 Noon                      Beer Tent Opens
Dog Show – Stage
1:00 p.m.                         Draw for Donkey Derby Race – Stage
"Girl of the Golden West" Melodrama at the Butte Theater
1:30 p.m.                         Donkey Derby Race – Jail Museum to Cripple Creek District Museum
2:00 p.m.                        Best Beard Contest – Stage
2:30 p.m.                        Businessmen's Donkey Race – Cripple Creek District Museum to 2nd St.
4:00 p.m.                        Announce Donkey Derby Race & Businessmen's Race Winners
5:00 p.m.                        Two Mile High Club Booth Closes
Information Booth Closes

 

 

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  • George U.

    Debating whether to go down on Sat morning or Sun for the dog show at 1. When are you going Buffy?

    June 25, 2013

    • Buffy

      Hi George, Unfortunately I won't be able to make it this year. I posted it because it looked like a fun event - maybe you can scope it out for next year for us. I'd love to go, but we're in the final stretches of putting our house on the market and have lots of work to do. :(

      June 25, 2013

  • Buffy

    We should get in on this next year w/ a Berner Parade! :)

    June 24, 2013

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