THE EMMA CRAWFORD
COFFIN RACE IN COLORADO
This is a lively annual event in which thousands of people race to push coffins heavy with bodies up a hill. Every year nearly 10,000 people attend a festival commemorating the time a small town experienced what was basically an Edward Gorey cartoon come to life.
The poor, dear Emma Crawford was once a real live woman who came to the small town of Manitou Springs, Colorado in the late 1800s in search of a cure for her tuberculosis. Sadly, even the area’s legendary mineral springs could do her no good. While on her deathbed, Emma uttered to her lover, Mr. Hildebrand, a dying wish to be buried at the top of Red Mountain. Fulfilling her wishes to the best of his ability, here Emma laid until 1912, when evil railroad barons moved her body to the mountain’s south slope in order to make way for their trains. Shortly thereafter, terrible flooding eroded that spot of land, causing Emma’s casket to go shooting down the mountain into town, where a couple of boys found it, still labeled with the silver nameplate bearing her name.
Fast forward a few decades and a tradition was born out of commemorating Emma’s restless casket, where the crux of the sport lies in trying to put her back where she belongs.
The fastest team represents Manitou Springs against the fastest team at Nederland’s Dead Guy Days where they compete for the coveted Coffin Cup. The winner takes the cup home to their city.
Clancy's comment: Looks like heaps of fun, eh? 10,000 people attend this event. Wow.