NewsCovering Colorado


A race like no other kicking off in Cripple Creek this weekend

The 92nd Donkey Derby Days are in full swing
Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-11 23:30:57-04

CRIPPLE CREEK — The 92nd annual Donkey Derby Days are in full swing. Events started on Friday at 7 p.m. and continued until Sunday. The full schedule is here below.

Friday, Aug 11th: Live music (Wild Blue Country) and Street Dance Friday night 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm @ District Museum

Saturday, Aug 12th: Pancake Breakfast at the Fire Station 7:00-10:00 a.m. Vendors and Kids Zone open starting at 10:00 – 5:00 pm! Parade at 11:00 a.m. Beer Gardens open from 11:00 – 10:00 p.m. Donkey races at 12:30, 1:15, 2:00, 2:45, & 3:45 p.m. (final heat and awards)! History Comes Alive in Pocket Park at 1:00 & 3:00 p.m. Live music all day!

Sunday, Aug 13th: Vendors and Kids Zone open 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. Beer Gardens open from 11:00 – 5:00 p.m. Live music begins at 11:30 & 2:00 pm.

While the Donkey Derby Days is a major economic driver for the town, they almost didn't happen this year. According to the city, the region has been hit hard since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"After the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has been operating at a deficit of I believe a 22% deficit," said Destination Marketing Coordinator for Cripple Creek Klaryssa Murray.

They attributed a decrease in casino tax revenue as the reason they were unable to fund the Donkey Derby Days.

"Traditionally, the city grants more than $30,000 for this event. this year they were not able to do that because gambling revenues were down at the casinos because of the pandemic and everyone is still trying to catch up. They said 'Sorry we can't fund you for that'", said Co-chair of the Donkey Derby Days Annie Valades.

The group was able to enlist the help of volunteers and sponsors to pull through for 2023.

"We got the word out and we got donations from literally all over the country. We had great sponsors step up at $5000 a time and more and here we are today," said Valades.


Donkey's released in Cripple Creek

The community of Cripple Creek sets loose a pack of donkeys heralded as "Ambassadors of the Gold Camp," the donkeys roam freely.


Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.