Sunday, October 30, 2016

Celebrating Manitou Springs' Halloween "Spirit"

While in Manitou Springs, Colorado, we heard about a unique festival that we had to check out. On the Saturday before Halloween, thousands of revelers gather to celebrate their favorite local "spirit", Emma Crawford. The imaginative costumes and friendly competition of the Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Parade provided Halloween fun for all!

According to local history, Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs in the late 1800s in hopes of alleviating her tuberculosis. Emma loved the mountains, and in spite of her illness, she managed to climb to the top of Red Mountain. After experiencing the beauty at the summit of the mountain she had one request ... to be buried on the top of Red Mountain. In 1891, she died at the age of 28 and was buried atop the mountain. But years of water runoff apparently unearthed her coffin and slid it down the mountain and into the streets of Manitou Springs ... and established her as a local legend.

For the last 21 years, the town has come together to celebrate their most famous local "spirit". Young and old alike come together to re-enact poor Emma's coffin racing down the street of Manitou Springs.

We were glad that we had an easy walk to the festivities from our current "home" at Pikes Peak RV Park, as the street was lined with thousands out to enjoy a beautiful autumn day.

The festivities began at 12:30 with a parade of the costumed participants. Afterwards, the 70 or so "teams" consisting of four "pallbearers" and "Emma" in her decorated coffin on wheels prepared to "race" down the street. Each team added to the humor of the event with their own special theme. Some of the fun teams included:
Emma and the Zombies

Emma and the Mario Brothers

Emma and our local finest ... her coffin lost its wheels so this dedicated team ended up carrying her across the finish line.

Emma in the "tiny house" coffin ... we can relate!

Whether racing down the street,

... or celebrating her safe arrival across the finish line,

... or just basking in her coffin on a beautiful day,

... there was fun for all during this "spirited" celebration ... except for those who don't have the "guts" to know when to say when!

Until next time ... have a safe and happy Halloween ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

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