Destinations, Events

Wacky Colorado: Coffin Races

July 29, 2013 by



Each October, Manitou Springs, Colorado, gets crowded with costumed ghouls, smurfs, transvestite nurses, and coffins. The notorious Emma Crawford Coffin Races have begun.

Back in 1994, in need of an income generating event, the city officials created the idea of the coffin races. The purpose was to honor Emma Crawford, a previous Manitou resident who was buried in her coffin in a nearby mountain.

After a string of poor weather, Emma came “racing” down the mountain in her coffin. Thus, the Emma Crawford Coffin Races.

Now, this popular event attracts over 15,000 to the quaint streets of Manitou Springs.

First, the competitors parade down main street, showing off their home made hearses and wild costumes. Then, they take their places at the start; one “Emma” lies in the coffin for the ride, and her teammates charge along her side toward the finish.

The winner gets a trophy, bragging rights, and a gift card to the shops or restaurants in Manitou. But the best part is the costumes. Some of Colorado’s most creative individuals show off their talent dressed as dead celebrities, monsters, zombie cartoon characters, and Emma Crawford herself.

It’s weird, it’s wacky, it’s hauntingly entertaining, and you have to see it to believe it.

Visit Manitou Springs official website for more information.

Photo Source: Flickr/brokentaco

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