(MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo.) — After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Emma Crawford Coffin Races return from the dead on Saturday, Oct. 29 to provide some spooky family fun to Manitou Springs.

Watch as teams of pallbearers race their coffins, with an Emma inside, down Manitou Avenue to the finish line. Each team builds a custom coffin and coordinate their costumes, all themed around their dearly departed Emma Crawford.

Emma Crawford Coffin Races return to Manitou Springs
FOX21 News file photo

The tradition is based on the real Emma Crawford, who according to Manitou Springs legend, was buried atop Red Mountain, as she requested before her death. Nearly 40 years later, in 1929, her coffin came racing down the mountain after years of harsh winters and spring rains.

A parade kicks off the festivities at noon, followed immediately by the races. There will also be an after party in Soda Springs Park with food, a beer garden, and free entertainment for all ages.

The event is expected to draw 10,000 people to downtown Manitou Springs, so organizers encourage getting there early, and planning ahead for one of several convenient travel and parking options:

  1. Park for free at the Department of Motor Vehicles parking lot, 1675 Garden of the Gods Road, and ride one of the shuttles that will run continuously from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on race day for $5 roundtrip.
  2. Park at Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Boulevard, and bike to the races. PikeRide is offering a 30-minute free bike ride on one of their electric bicycles using the code EMMA2022. Bicycle valet located in Memorial Park until 2 p.m. or lock up at one of many bike racks around town.
  3. Catch a ride with Uber/Lyft/Z-trip. There is a designated drop-off and pickup spot at the Chase Bank on Manitou Avenue, located at 484 Manitou Avenue.