The 18th Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races

Guests at the historic Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast, a Colorado Bed and Breakfast Inn  on Manitou Avenue  are within easy walking distance to all the festivities for the 18th Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races. There is a whole bunch of different events surrounding the history of the woman, Emma Crawford, whose coffin washed down Red Mountain.

Everything kicks off Friday night with Emma Crawford’s wake held at Miramont Castle. It combines a tour of the beautiful old home with a bit of history along the way. The evening concludes with a wonderful dinner in the Great Hall.  Tickets sell out plan ahead. Click here for the Miramont Castle website for more details.

The next morning the big event kicks off. The 18th Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races starts at noon down Manitou Avenue with a hearse and coffin parade. We recommend you get here early. The streets close at 9am and this event has become so big it’s best to arrive early to find the best places to watch from. This event is free.

CK Comics, just a couple of doors down from us, is having a costume contest from 4pm-6pm. There are different categories and even a band! Check out the event here.

Later in the evening the Manitou Springs Heritage Center does historic ghost tours through town. It’s a little corny but a lot of fun! Tours are $10 and also sell out very quickly.

So who is this Emma Crawford and why should I care?

Emma was a young woman that traveled to Colorado seeking a cure for tuberculosis like so many at the time. She was not famous or anything like that. She however did not survive. Emma wanted to be buried on Red Mountain, which she climbed shortly before her death and right outside our front door, so her fiancee made sure that it happened. Decades later during a horrible rainstorm, Emma’s coffin washed down the side of Red Mountain and part way down Manitou Avenue. Someone more decades later uncovered the story and thought that it was good inspriation for a fun event the Saturday before Halloween and the rest is history. The coffin races have been seen on Travel Channel and numerous other places and we are proud to be a part of it (and not having to find parking on the day of the event).

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