Off to the (coffin) races!

Every place you may go has its own little… quirks. One of the fun quirks to be found in Colorado’s Front Range is the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races, held in Manitou Springs. As you might expect, it’s held in the days leading up to Halloween, and it commemorates a beloved former resident of the town.

Emma moved to Manitou Springs in 1899, hoping to find a cure for her tuberculosis in the town’s mineral springs. Sadly, the water didn’t work for her, and she died only two years later. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of the nearby Red Mountain, and so 12 hearty souls carried her casket up the mountain to fulfill that wish. But once again, her luck didn’t hold — after 3 decades of hard winters and spring rains, her coffin came racing down the mountainside in 1929. Since 1995, the local Chamber of Commerce has hosted the coffin races in her memory, and honestly, as an off-kilter fun event for the community (and lots of out-of-towners who drive in for it).