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Emma Crawford Coffin Races Return in '22

Races are Back for 150th Anniversary of Manitou Springs

Who puts the “fun” in funeral? Well, Manitou Springs, of course, with its annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival.

Haven’t been? Picture this: Dozens of hand-built "coffins" on wheels manned by costumed, five-person teams – “Emma” in the coffin and four “mourners” pushing the rigs 195 yards down the street to the finish.

And while the races are the centerpiece, this event is a full-day affair. Started in 1995, it’s based on the story of a local resident who was buried at the top of nearby Red Mountain in 1891. Over time, erosion exposed her coffin, and it slid down the hill into the canyon, where it was found and eventually reburied.

The coffin races are held the Saturday before Halloween, which is Oct. 29 this year. Festivities start at 9 am, when shuttles and party buses start rolling. There’s a parade at noon, followed by the races. Stay for the after party, which includes live music, food, a beer garden and award presentations for the fastest teams, best Emma, best entourage, and the winner of the Coffin Cup.

Book a “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou" walking tour later that evening to hear true stories of real people from Manitou Springs’ history.

Still want more? Visit Miramont Castle the Friday before the races to attend Emma Crawford’s annual wake. Say your final goodbyes to Emma and learn about the Victorian era’s mourning practices. Tours are followed by a buffet dinner. Tickets sell out early for this popular event.

Website: emmacrawfordfestival.com/
Facebook: @ManitouSpringsEmmaCrawfordCoffinRaces
Instagram: @emmacrawfordcoffinraces

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