The Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs are an entire day of spooky fun.
**Please note, this event has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, please read below for alternative ways you can still celebrate this quirky event!**
While the races themselves will not be run, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce wants to keep the spirit of the event alive with three competitions revolving around the Coffin Races:
1. The first event is a t-shirt design contest, following the theme of “the year that wasn’t." Artists are invited to submit their designs to email@example.com through Friday August 28. After all designs are submitted, they will be posted in the Visitor Center and online voting will open to select the winning design. All voting will close at 5:00pm on September 11. The winning artist will be notified by September 14, and pre-orders for shirts will be accepted from September 14-25.
2. The second event will be a costume contest beginning on October 1 and running through October 23. Prizes will be given for “Best Emma” and “Best Team Theme." To participate, submit an image of you decked out in your costume(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Post on social media with the hashtag #EmmaCup.
3. The third event is a scavenger hunt throughout Manitou Springs. Starting October 17, the Chamber of Commerce will release a list of riddles/clues that teams will have to solve and submit pictures showing completion to email@example.com. Each completed task will earn the team an entry into a drawing for prizes. Teams of five may register at the Visitors Center - 354 Manitou Ave. or online at www.manitousprings.org. This contest will run through October 25 with winners announced October 26.
Each year, Manitou Springs hosts the Emma Crawford Coffin Races to commemorate a local tale and bring the community together in celebration of Halloween!
The History of Emma Crawford
In 1889, a young woman named Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs hopeful that the clean mountain air and healing mineral springs would cure her tuberculosis. After accomplishing a hike up nearby Red Mountain, she let it be known that once she passed on, her wish was to be buried on the mountain. She died soon after and was laid to rest on Red Mountain. Many years later, heavy rainfall caused Emma’s coffin to dislodge, and it came racing down the mountain, inspiring the Coffin Races. Emma supposedly still haunts Red Mountain today.
The Coffin Races & Other Spooky Activities
The story of Emma Crawford lives on in the wacky Emma Crawford Coffin Race up Manitou Avenue. Costumed impersonators of Emma ride on coffin-like contraptions pulled by teams of four “mourners.” A Parade of Coffins and awards for the best Emma and Most Creative Coffin complete the day-long event. Stay in town for the Emma Crawford Estate Sidewalk Sale hosted by participating local businesses in Downtown Historic Manitou Springs. The night before, a Victorian Wake in Emma's honor is held at Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs.
Click here for more information about the Coffin Race. Or, find out what other Halloween fun Colorado Springs has to offer right here.