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23rd Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races (Manitou Springs, Colorado)

Emma Crawford Coffin Races 2017

23rd Annual – Emma Crawford Coffin Races 2017
October 28, 2017 – Manitou Springs, Colorado

It has been over a decade since I’ve been to the Coffin Races. It is still as fun as ever. I got to see some old friends and colleagues, got a guest spot on the bleachers for a good view, and to hang with the hearse club momentarily. Before the event, went to the Comic shop for their mimosas and pancakes event where signings were being done from a actor on the Walking Dead. Everyone’s costumes at the affair are always to the nines, with incredible creativity. It is however a very busy event with a nightmare for parking unless you come early and take the hike in. It is one of my favorite Colorado Festivals. While the City has become a little bit more constrained and stiffling of the event, it still has a great flavor of wildness, entertainment, and fun. Every October, the city of Manitou Springs Colorado comes together to celebrate a facet of macabre history of the village – the day that Emma Crawford’s coffin came racing down the mountain. To celebrate it, residents and visitors alike come dressed up in Halloween costumes and the main street is shut down for a “coffin race” for all to see.

Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs in the 1800’s seeking a cure for her struggle with tuberculosis. Since the Springs of Manitou were notorious for curing TB, it was a good place for her to be. In 1890 though, the illness got the best of her, and she passed away. Her wish upon her death was to be buried on top of Red Mountain, overlooking the village.

Friends, family, and villagers honored her request, hauled her body up the mountain, and buried her atop the mountain. However, as is common with this region susceptible to floods and weather … Several years of rain and harsh weather chewed away at the top soil above her grave and eventually her remains slid down the mountain into the canyon below where two young boys discovered her name plate and silver handles of her casket.

Annually Manitou celebrates the event and the woman with parades, parties, concerts, and a city event.

Emma Crawford Coffin Races 2017 (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=34079), Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken October 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017. Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. More info about Colorado Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31051

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Emma Crawford Coffin Races

Emma Crawford Coffin Races 2017

Every October, the city of Manitou Springs Colorado comes together to celebrate a facet of macabre history of the village – the day that Emma Crawford’s coffin came racing down the mountain. To celebrate it, residents and visitors alike come dressed up in Halloween costumes and the main street is shut down for a “coffin race” for all to see.

Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs in the 1800’s seeking a cure for her struggle with tuberculosis. Since the Springs of Manitou were notorious for curing TB, it was a good place for her to be. In 1890 though, the illness got the best of her, and she passed away. Her wish upon her death was to be buried on top of Red Mountain, overlooking the village.

Friends, family, and villagers honored her request, hauled her body up the mountain, and buried her atop the mountain. However, as is common with this region susceptible to floods and weather … Several years of rain and harsh weather chewed away at the top soil above her grave and eventually her remains slid down the mountain into the canyon below where two young boys discovered her name plate and silver handles of her casket.

Annually Manitou celebrates the event and the woman with parades, parties, concerts, and a city event.

15th Annual Emma Crawford Races, 2009

23rd Annual Emma Crawford Races, 2017


Emma Crawford Coffin Races 2017 (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=34079), Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken October 28, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017. Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. More info about Colorado Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31051

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15th Annual Emma Crawford 2009 Coffin Races


Hearse Con: Gary (white), Zach (black), and Ghostbusters; then parade

15th Annual Emma Crawford 2009 Coffin Races
* 1-800-642-2567 * manitousprings.org * 12 pm – 3 pm * Every October * Manitou Springs, Colorado
This is one of the spectacular festivals that makes Manitou Springs sorta-unique especially as a place where people can be strange, different, and freakish. It definitely rhymes in with the “Keep Manitou Weird” campaign that’s been going around for a few years. Of course, Colorado has at least two of these wacky Coffin Races, the other being the “Frozen Dead Guy Days” in Nederlands, Colorado. Every October, on Manitou Avenue, in the town’s National Historic District, thousands gather to watch push-cart coffins be raced down the avenue in honor and memory of the late Emma Crawford. Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs as did many to partake of the healing mineral springs that were a known cure for tuberculosis that she was suffering from. However, the summer of 1890 she died just as she was about to marry an engineer named Mr. Hildebrand of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. She wanted to be buried atop Red Mountain, and even though the city did not approve it, Mr. Hildebrand and eleven other men carried her coffin to the top of the Red Mountain and laid her to rest there at the 7200 foot Summit. 1929 storms eroded the granite holding her coffin and her remains were washed down the side of Red Mountain. Some say her coffin went racing down the roads. She was reburied in the Manitou Springs Cemetery in an unmarked grave. An official grave was dedicated to her in 2004. Coffin Races were established in her honor to keep her story alive. At 12 o’clock, someone is dressed up as Emma to judge the races. Everyone dresses up ghoulishly, festivities take place all over town, and thousands gather to watch the races. Teams push-carting their coffin hosting a “Emma” within race up and down Manitou Ave. Parading of costumes and coffins, The Hearse Con from Denver come down and do a Hearse parade as well. So too come the Ghostbusters. It’s a great affair and a fabulous time! Arrive early to grant parking. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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