Every June an unusual tradition attracts thousands of people to the small town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. Donkey Derby Days is a unique annual dash where the town’s resident donkeys compete in speed. The donkeys descend from the animals that were brought to town after it was founded during the Gold Rush of America's West.
The festival originated in the 1930s when a local entrepreneur Charley Lehew was thinking about ways to attract tourists to town during the low season. As a result, a race track was built in Cripple Creek, and the first Donkey Derby Days festival was born.
The two-day festival also features live entertainment, historical competitions, and games for all ages. Kids will definitely enjoy visiting with adorable baby donkeys. A dog show will let the four-legged friends compete as well. Street vendors also offer tasty snacks and souvenirs.
The town of Cripple Creek is part of Colorado Springs Metropolitan Area located in 71 km (44 mi) from the city. Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp with lots of hiking options in the area. Pikes Peak is the most well-known hiking destination. A 4,302 m (14,115 ft) mountain is one of the most prominent in this part of the Rocky Mountains. There are different routes to the top, with a 20-km (13-mi) Barr Trail being the most popular.