“Summer of Fun” Bustling with Special Events/Festivals in Southern Teller

What in the World is a Cripple Creek?


Tracie Bennitt

Cripple Creek Marketing & Events Director


Back in the late 1800s, a story was told about a rancher having a calf tripping while crossing a meandering stream, often referred to a “cripple” creek, in the grazing areas located west of Pike’s Peak. Cattle frequently injured themselves crossing the stream, so the name Cripple Creek stuck.


Cowboy Bob Womack had been searching for gold in the area for more than 15 years when in 1890 he finally discovered it.


Thousands of prospectors flocked to the “World’s Greatest Gold Camp” and Cripple Creek earned its spot on the map over the next 20 years. In those early years, more than $1.2 billion dollars of gold (by today’s standards) was extracted from the mines in the Cripple Creek and Victor region. Mining still exists today using modern mining extraction methods as Cripple Creek continues to grow. A designated National Historic Landmark, the Cripple Creek Historic District is thriving once again with casinos, restaurants, gift shops and attractions.


Summer has always been a busy time in the district with events ranging from classic cars shows to donkey races down Bennett



Summer of Fun Kicks Off With Donkey Derby Days


This summer’s events kick off this weekend with the 93rd annual Donkey Derby Days from June 28 through the June 30.  Live music starts at 7pm Friday evening at the District Museum as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  The District Museum will continue with Music at the Depot a number of weekends throughout the summer.


Donkey Derby Days is the kick-off for an active festival and special events season in Cripple Creek that  a former city official dubbed as “The Summer of Fun.”


The area’s largest fireworks are held on July 4 with people from all around the region coming to see the extravagant display put on by the city of Cripple Creek.  The Gold Camp Association will have a beer garden and activities in the downtown area and Music at the Depot will be happening from the 4 through the 6th at the District Museum.


Cripple Creek Parks & Rec will hold a 10K Poker Run/Walk on July 13 followed by Disc Golf Tournament on August 3. July 27 Jade’s Promise will raise funds for the Dog Park fencing for our local four-legged friends. BMX Race Day is August 24 this year at Mountain View Adventure Park.


The Butte Theater is active all summer with a great variety of shows. Darling of the Donkey Derby runs June 14 through July 14th. July 19th kicks off The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  SPAMALOT debuts on October 4th on the historic theater stage.


The Homestead House hosts the annual Pearl DeVere Day on July 27, celebrating the historical women in the mining community.  Bed races kick off at noon on Meyers Ave. in the original red light district of Cripple Creek. Food, beverages, frivolity and a Best Dressed Madame Contest make up just a portion of the fun activities planned for the day. Reservations should be made to tour the Old Homestead House that day as LOTS of folks come to town for the fun activities.


On August 18, Cripple Creek celebrates our national heroes at the Pikes Peak Memorial Wall Ceremony.  Local members of the Armed Forces lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001 and stationed at one of our area installations, home of record in El Paso or Teller County or graduated from the Air Force Academy, are remembered on the wall for their sacrifice and service. Held at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, the ceremony starts at 1 pm.


The local Gold Camp Victorian Society has an educational, but creepy afternoon, with cemetery tours at Mount Pisgah Speaks on September 21 and 22. Learn the history of who is buried in Mt. Pisgah and their stories as told by society members.


The Heritage Center has ongoing activities all summer with History Talks celebrating local celebrities from the past as well as Art Shows and Craft Fairs. It’s also a great place to hold meetings and small events if you’re looking for a venue location.


There is a lot to do in the Gold Camp District this summer. A full schedule of events is available at VisitCrippleCreek.com.