Snapshots: 25th annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races (copy)

This year's Emma Crawford Coffin Races has been canceled due to the pandemic. (Parker Seibold, The Gazette)

Emma Crawford won't ride again this year.

The Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs has been canceled due to the pandemic.

The popular and "historic" event, scheduled for Oct. 24, attracts more than 10,000 people every October for a gander at more than 60 decorated coffins racing down Manitou Avenue with the help of four runners and one costumed Crawford in the coffin’s hot seat.

Crawford, who died in 1891 from tuberculosis in the mountain town, is said to haunt Red Mountain, where her coffin was once buried until it was unearthed due to flooding and came racing down the mountainside.

In its place, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce will offer three Emma-themed competitions, starting with a T-shirt design contest with the theme "The year that wasn't."

Email designs by Aug. 28 to They'll be posted in the Chamber's Visitor Center and people can vote online for the winning design at

A costume contest will run Oct. 1-23 and prizes will be given for the best Emma and best team theme. Participants can email images of themselves in costume to

From Oct. 17-25 the chamber will offer a scavenger hunt through Manitou Springs. Teams will receive a list of riddles and clues to solve and email pictures showing completion to

Completed tasks will earn entry into a drawing for prizes. Teams of five can register at the Visitor Center, 354 Manitou Ave., or online at

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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