SoFAAR trotted to a smashing success this weekend


Photos by Lyndsie Ferrell The second annual South Fork Alder Ass Race was a huge success on Labor Day weekend 100 teams from all over the US came to Brown's Park to participate. Furry companions of all different colors, shapes and sizes led their handlers up Alder Creek.

SOUTH FORK — Brown Park in South Fork was packed Saturday morning with fuzzy burros, their handlers and a huge crowd of spectators who braved the chilly early morning to come and see racers off on the second annual South Fork Alder Ass Race (SoFAAR). The event brought in competitors from all over the country to celebrate a 75-year tradition of donkey racing.

Participant numbers were nearly doubled this year and the South Fork Friends Foundation welcomed 100 teams to the race on Saturday. People were greeted by a huge inflatable rubber ducky that was blown up in the middle of the park to entice crowds to participate in the first-ever rubber ducky race along the Rio Grande. According to South Fork Friends Foundation President Luke Brennan, the race brought in $1,500 that was donated to the foundation to help with future projects.

“SoFAAR was an amazing success by every metric available: race registrations, sponsorships, vendor attendance and satisfaction, spectator attendance and participation in the games, raffles, auctions; volunteer engagement and enthusiasm, venue accommodations for camping and burros and spectators, etc. The duck race alone took in $1,500 which resulted in $750 to SFFF and a lot of people loved that event. The Big Ass Pre-Race party at LOGE Wolf Creek was well attended and the talk of the town,” Brennan said.

As 10 a.m. quickly approached, racers began making their way to the starting line, leading their furry companions who were eager to begin the day’s adventure.

“This is the second year for us coming to this race and we really enjoy it,” said resident Karne Miller who was racing with her miniature donkey Pepsi.

“The entire pack burro racing community is talking about how wonderful this race was. And this was our second pack burro race. Our numbers for SoFAAR 2024 are certain to be even better. I asked you all for perfection in the execution of this event and you nailed it. Every one of you stepped up and did whatever needed to be done. Whether it was in your ‘job description’ or not,” said Brennan.

With the race in the rearview, South Fork will now switch gears and prepare for hunting season and the second annual Town of South Fork Pig Roast and Colorfest that welcomes the fall color crowds to the area. For more information or a full schedule of events, visit