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The popular annual Donkey Derby Days event in Cripple Creek has been canceled due to COVID-19. (Photo by Chancey Bush, The Gazette)

The donkeys will not race this year in Cripple Creek.

The popular annual event was rescheduled from its original dates of June 27-28 to Labor Day weekend, but has now been canceled due to COVID-19.

"As much as we would like to have an 89th Donkey Derby Days, we know it is in the best interest of our city, state, residents, visitors and vendors to postpone it for 2020 and plan our 90th anniversary for June 25-27," writes Two Mile High Club in a press release.

The club uses proceeds from the event to care for the resident donkey herd in Cripple Creek. Those are not the donkeys that race in the annual event. An athlete group of animals is brought in from Denver.

About 30,000 people attend the festivities every year, where teams do their best to sweet talk a pack of notoriously stubborn donkeys down a mile-long stretch of Bennett Avenue. The race started in the early 1930s over drinks at a bar, where a few businessmen mulled over how to attract more summer visitors to town. To learn more, go online to cripplecreekdonkeys.com.

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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