MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — The City of Manitou Springs is calling all artists, graphic designers, and community members to submit their designs for a commemorative t-shirt for the 28th year of the running of the a fan-favorite Halloween event.

The Emma Crawford Coffin Races are an annual event commemorating Emma Crawford, who according to Manitou Springs legend, came to the city in 1889 searching for a cure for her tuberculosis in the the area’s famed cold-water mineral springs. She succumbed to her illness in 1891, but not before falling in love with the town.

Emma 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.

In 1995, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce started the first coffin races in the nation, in memory of Emma Crawford. In the years since, the races have grown into a one-of-a-kind experience in the Pikes Peak Region, garnering national attention as one of the best Halloween attractions in the nation.

Now, the city of Manitou Springs is celebrating the 28th year of the running of the races, and to celebrate the occasion, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce is inviting artists and artistic-minded members of the community to submit their designs for a chance to be featured on the official 28th anniversary t-shirt.

Design Guidelines & Inspiration

The city is asking artists to include the following words in their design, either as added type or incorporated in the artwork itself:

  1. The words: “Manitou Springs”
  2. The words: “Emma Crawford Coffin Races”
  3. The words: “28th annual” or “28th anniversary”

Other contest Guidelines:

  1. Primary subject matter should be coffin-race related
  2. Work must be original
  3. Open to all ages
  4. There is no entry fee
  5. Submit entries via email to or drop off original art at 354 Manitou Ave.

Artwork specifications: 

Submit digital designs as a singular jpeg, png or pdf file. Organizers recommend designing your piece at a size 16” x 20” at 300 dpi. Keep in mind, if you win, you will be required to provide a high-resolution file to print your design.

For more information on the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, go to