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From the Organizer

Who Was Emma Crawford? Emma Crawford, a young woman seeking the mineral springs “cure” from tuberculosis came to Manitou Springs in the 1800’s. Sadly, Emma passed away in 1890. Before passing, Emma asked her fiance to bury her on top of Red Mountain. Her wish was honored, and her remains rested peacefully atop the mountain until 1912. During the early 1900’s, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company began building an incline to the mountain top, forcing her coffin to be moved. She was reburied on the south slope of the mountain. After several years of rain and harsh weather conditions, Emma’s remains slid down the mountain into the canyon below, where two young boys found her name plate and the silver handles from her casket. Manitou Springs, in honor of Emma Crawford, celebrates the fun and crazy event of the Emma Crawford Coffin Races annually as a part of our history to be shared with all. Manitou Springs celebrates the 24th Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Festival on Saturday, October 27, 2018. The Parade starts at 12:00 pm followed by up to 70 teams racing coffins down Manitou Avenue for the ultimate victory! Each team consists of one Emma and four runners dressed in costume. The fastest 3 timed places earn trophies as well as a chance at Best Entourage, Best Coffin, a 2018 Miss Emma will be crowned, and a new team destined to race for the Coffin Cup in Nederland at the 2019 Frozen Dead Guy Days – so come dressed to impress, and race your face off! Come for the races, stay for the FREE Coffin Race after party featuring live music, TBD in the Soda Springs Park Pavilion starting at 2:30pm. Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers, Best Emma, Best Entourage, Best Coffin, and awarding the 2019 Frozen Dead Guy Days Challenger! The Coffin Cup has been resurrected! The epic throw-down between Emma Crawford Coffin Racing teams in Manitou Springs and Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, CO has returned! The original Coffin Cup, engraved by Bud Ford at the Dulcimer Shop has come out of retirement and was reintroduced in the 2018 Frozen Dead Guy Days Coffin Race in Nederland, CO with a race between Team Fossil, the traveling Emma Crawford team and Nederland’s “Nerds”. In this epic throwdown on March 10th, 2018, Team Fossil was victorious and brought the Coffin Cup back to rest in Manitou Springs. We’re proud of our champions, TEAM FOSSIL! Who will be the next to challenge for the title of “Ultimate Colorado Coffin Racing Team”??