(CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo.) — The annual “turning out” of the famous Cripple Creek donkeys from their winter quarters will take place in May.

After the release, the donkeys will roam free through the city of Cripple Creek through the remainder of the spring, summer, and into the fall. The Two Mile High Club, which serves as the caretakers of the donkeys, said Teddy Roosevelt will be on hand to speak and facilitate the release, as he was in 1901.

At the turn of the century, the donkeys of Cripple Creek worked deep underground in the mines, where they lived, worked, and died under inhumane conditions, according to the Two Mile High Club.

Volunteers will be on hand at the intersection of C Street and Thurlow Avenue on May 15 as the donkeys are released. Caretakers said as the weather warms up, the donkeys know when it is almost time to leave their winter barn, and once released, they love to eat apples, carrots, and the special treats that are available at local businesses.

  • This year, Donkey Derby Days does not have funding from the city of Cripple Creek.
  • cripple creek donkeys

The community is invited to celebrate the donkeys’ release along C Street, on Cripple Creek’s southwest corner at noon on Monday, May 15. Guests are encouraged to come out and meet the donkeys, including the two newest, Calypso and Salsa, who are a mother-daughter pair and will experience their first turnout to Cripple Creek this year.

Calypso and Salsa will also be at the 92nd Annual Donkey Derby Days on Aug 11, 12, and 13 – Cripple Creek’s biggest festival of the year.