Release of Cripple Creek Donkeys Set for Late May

Plans Unveiled for Popular TMHC Summer and Fall Festivals

Two Mile High Club

The Two Mile High Club (TMHC), caretakers of the Cripple Creek donkeys, regarded as the town’s most popular local personalities, will be released on Memorial Day (May 27).

That’s when the donkeys leave their winter pasture behind for the “greener pastures” of city lawns and gardens in Cripple Creek. Most residents welcome these lovable city mascots back to their free-roaming ways until they return to winter pasture in October. The release begins at 11 a.m. at C Street and Thurlow.

The town will abound with plenty of festivities to highlight the occasion. “President Teddy Roosevelt” will mark the occasion with a bully welcome to the donkeys, an event that kicks off summer in the Gold Camp. Everyone is encouraged to pack a lunch and enjoy a town picnic at the City Park, 128 East Bennett Avenue, immediately after the release. This old-fashioned picnic will feature Barbershop Harmony with the “Alitones” quartet. Members of the Woodland Park Wind Symphony Mountain Brass Band will also perform.

Cripple Creek Mayor Annie Durham, known for her musical talents, will play old-timey tunes on the keyboard. A limited number of premade old-fashioned box lunches will also be available for donation.

“The Release begins an exciting summer of Donkey-related activities in Cripple Creek,” said Brandon Westhoff, TMHC President. “As a nonprofit all-volunteer organization, we rely on these celebratory fundraisers, grants, donations, and sponsorships to provide year-round care for these donkeys… and have done so since 1931. But, it’s more than raising funds; it’s about giving back to the community that supports us and the donkeys year-round.”

The next Donkey event is the granddaddy of them all, the 93rd annual Donkey Derby Days, on June 28, 29, and 30. “We’re excited to showcase “Wild Blue Country” from the United States Air Force as the headliner band on Friday and Saturday nights, and the live concert schedule is packed with other tremendous musicians the entire weekend,” noted Annie Valades, chairperson of the Donkey Derby Day festival. “This year, Donkey Races will happen on Saturday and Sunday and run up Bennett Avenue, as they did 90-plus years ago! We have a tremendous Saturday morning parade planned, along with vendors, beer gardens, food trucks, and an expanded Kids Zone. Festivities begin on Friday night, June 28th.

The club is not just resting on the laurels of past Donkey Derby Days, rated as one of the best local festivals, according to readers of TMJ.

The club will round out the season with “Fall Fest” on October 5-6.  This concludes a fantastic summer of Two Mile High Club celebrations in Cripple Creek.

Attendees of “Fall Fest” will enjoy live music, delicious food and beverages, chainsaw carving, pie baking contests, pumpkin carving, the “Fall Photo Booth,” and shopping at a variety of vendors all in the glory of the beautiful changing leaves. None of this happens without donations, sponsors, and volunteers.

To learn more about the Cripple Creek Donkeys, please visit our website And on Facebook @CCDonkeys and on Instagram: @ccdonkeysofficial and on TikTok@ccdonkeysofficia