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Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival returns to Manitou Springs this Oct.

Festival celebrates 28 years during 150th anniversary in Manitou Springs
Emma C
Posted at 2:32 PM, Jul 29, 2022

MANITOU SPRINGS — The Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival will take place through the month of Oct. in Manitou Springs. The Festival returns to Manitou Springs after it was canceled because of the pandemic the last 2 years.

The festival is named after the late Emma Crawford, who is buried on the Red Mountain nearby. Crawford's coffin was washed away years after her burial, and she supposedly still haunts the mountain to this day.

The festival is currently accepting submissions for their annual t-shirt design contest through Aug. 31. Artists are encouraged to submit their best design to event organizers.

"This is our initial push out into the community letting everyone know the coffin races are back on so a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz happening out of the office in town," Jenna Gallas of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce said. "We can't wait for the coffin races to come back in 2022."

One event happening through Oct. will be the "Skeleton Craze." Residents and visitors to Manitou Springs will find skeleton's around town, and they will be encouraged to vote on their favorite.

Each Friday and Saturday in Oct. will have the "Ghost Tours of Old Manitou."

Below are some of the cases on this year's Ghost Tours:

  • The Red Rocking Chair
  • Emma Crawford and Wilhelm Hildebrand reunite to sing the Ballad of Lost Love
  • The Homicidal Hairdresser

The Coffin Races will be a part of many events happening on Oct. 29.

Below is a list of events on that day:

  • 9:00 am - Shuttles Open
  • 12:00 pm - Parade Begins
  • After Parade - Coffin Races Begin!
  • 1:00-5:00 pm - After Party at Soda Springs Park
  • 2:00 pm - Award Ceremony at Soda Springs Park 
  • 6:00 pm - Last shuttle departs

Here's how the Coffin Races work. Five people will build a "coffin" to wheel down the street. The coffins will be inspected on the day of the races. Four of the team members will push the coffin, while the other member will wear a helmet, and be inside the coffin. Members can also dress up for the race, and they must be 18 years of age or older.

Each team may also have an entourage of no more than 12 people. The coffin team's costumes, coffins, and entourages will be judged during the parade on Oct. 29.

Those interested in participating in the Coffin Races must fill out a registration form before Oct. 14. There is a $100 fee for each team that must be paid to the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Below is a list of parking options for the festivities on Oct. 29:

  • $5 at Rockledge Ranch- Shuttle
  • $20 donation to the Boy Scouts along Manitou Ave.- No Shuttle
  • $20 donation to the Boy Scouts at Higginbotham Rd.- Shuttle

The Festival is also asking for volunteers during the Coffin Races.

Other events include "Classic Horror Movie Nights" happening every Friday in October, including a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

On Fri. Oct. 28, tickets are available for tours and a buffet dinner at the Miramount Castle Museum.

For more information, visit the Emma Crawford Festival Website.

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