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The residents of Colorado have created a rather unusual way of commemorating the death of a member of the community. In the late 19th century, Emma Crawford arrived in Manitou Springs, Colorado with her fiancÚ, after having been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. As the area was renowned for the healing effects of its spring water, she hoped that the fresh air and this 'magical' water may cure her illness.
Despite her Tuburculosis, Emma was determined to climb Red Mountain, three peaks measuring around 12,000 ft. She managed to accomplish this feat and when she reached the peak, she was so happy; she announced that she wanted to be buried there. Soon after, things took a turn for the worse and Emma died at the age of 19. Her fiancÚ and eleven other men from the town carried her coffin up the mountain to fulfill her dying wish. However, in 1929, torrential rains washed her coffin down the mountain and she had to be reburied in Crystal Valley Cemetery. Certain people claim they have seen her ghost in various places in Manitou Springs.
As such, the residents of Colorado have, since 1994, commemorated her death with an annual coffin race. Participants must organize themselves into teams of five, design and make a coffin-like racing cart, and then allocate one person (an Emma Crawford impersonator) to sit in the coffin whilst the other four 'mourners' pull it along. The race is preceded by a parade of the coffins, whereby spectators can admire the work of the 50 teams competing in the event. At the end of the day, awards are given out to the best Emma impersonator and the most impressive coffin design. For those who choose to stick around afterwards, the Historic Downtown area of Manitou Springs will be hosting a sidewalk sale with stalls selling all kinds of spooky goods. The night before, there is also a Victorian-style wake open to guests and held in Miramont Castle to commemorate her death.
This year the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race will be held on September 27 between 12:00pm and 3:00pm. For inspiration on a coffin design - check out some of Ghana's best creations.
Find your flights to Colorado with the easyvoyage.co.uk search engine.United States California
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