85 years of Wild West tradition rolls on with Donkey Derby Days in Cripple Creek

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The city of Cripple Creek is hosting the 85th annual Donkey Derby Days Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, in downtown Cripple Creek.

The whole family is invited to this fun-filled weekend, even the family pooch. Admission is free for both days. Derby Days is typically regarded as one of Cripple Creek’s premiere festivals.

The preliminary Derby action begins on Friday, June 24 during the donkey-filled weekend with the melodrama “Darling of the Donkey Derby” at the Butte Theater at 7 p.m.

At the races, the media will go crazy in the “Big Ass Challenge” on Saturday at 10 a.m. And the Donkey Derby Races on Saturday and Sunday are open to anyone ready to try his or her luck at winning with a donkey by their side.

Even dogs can join the frivolity, when they compete in a canine contest. Or humans can enter the Best Beard contest. And with numerous food vendors, there will be plenty of casual dining options.

While the racing donkeys may steal the show, families can also enjoy other activities, including a parade, live music, donkey rides, games for the kids and heritage competitions.
The mining town’s history lives on as the city celebrates this wacky event. According to legend, the donkeys roaming the town today are descendants of those from the old mining days. Local businessman Charley Lehew launched this derby tradition back in the 1930s with a donkey race. Since then, locals and tourists alike have herded to this historic event to watch tradition live on.

The American Bus Association named Cripple Creek’s Donkey Derby Days one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016.
For more information, visit the website at VisitCrippleCreek.com.

DONKEY DERBY DAYS – SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Please register for Donkey Races at the Information Booth

Friday, June 24
6-10 p.m. – Friday Night Street Dance Featuring Exit West
Beer Garden Open

7 p.m. – OPENING NIGHT! “Darling of the Donkey Derby”
– Melodrama at the Butte Theater

Saturday, June 25
7 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast at Cripple Creek Fire Station

8 a.m. – Two Mile High Club Booth Opens
Information Booth Opens
Petting Zoo at District Museum Opens

9:30-11 a.m. – 4th Infantry Division Band – West Stage

10 a.m. – “Big Ass Challenge” Media Race – Double Eagle to 2nd St.
Donkey Rides Begin – Near Aspen Mine Center
Kids Activities at the Park
Parade Check In – Jail Museum

10:30 a.m. – Kids Donkey Race – Aspen Mine Center to 2nd St.

11 a.m. – Beer Gardens Open

11:30a.m. – Best Beard Contest – East Stage

12 p.m. – Parade

1 p.m. – Donkey Calling Contest – East Stage
“Darling of the Donkey Derby” – Melodrama at the Butte Theater

1:30 p.m. – Draw for Donkey Derby Race – West Stage
Announce Parade Awards – West Stage

1:45 p.m. – Western Shootout Gun Skit – West Stage

2 p.m. – Donkey Derby Race – Jail Museum to District Museum

3 p.m. – Announce Donkey Derby Race Awards – West Stage

3-6 p.m. – BJ Estares and Route 61 – East Stage

6 p.m. – Two Mile High Club Booth Closes

6-10 p.m. – Saturday Night Street Dance Featuring Sandy Wells
– West Stage
7 p.m. – “Darling of the Donkey Derby” – Melodrama at the Butte Theater

10 p.m. – Beer Gardens Close

Sunday, June 26

7 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast at Cripple Creek Fire Station

8 a.m. – Two Mile High Club Booth Opens
Information Booth Opens
Petting Zoo at District Museum Opens

10 a.m. – Donkey Rides Begin – Near Aspen Mine Center
Kids Activities at the Park

10:30 a.m. – Kids Donkey Race – Aspen Mine Center to 2nd St.

11 a.m. – Donkey Calling Contest – East Stage
Beer Gardens Open

11:30 a.m. – Dog Show – West Stage

12-2 p.m. – Wild Blue Country (Air Force Band) – East Stage

1 p.m. – Draw for Donkey Derby Race – West Stage
“Darling of the Donkey Derby” – Melodrama at the Butte Theater

1:30 p.m. – Donkey Derby Race – Jail Museum to District Museum

2 p.m. – Best Beard Contest – East Stage

3 p.m. – Businessmen’s Donkey Race – District Museum to 2nd St.

3:30 p.m. – Announce Donkey Derby Race & Businessmen’s Race Winners

5 p.m. – Two Mile High Club Booth Closes
Information Booth Closes
Beer Gardens Close

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