Another event bites the COVID-19 dust, but there's still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Another anticipated event will not go on thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce announced the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, scheduled for October 24, is canceled for health and safety reasons.

Traditionally, the Emma Crawford Coffin Races pay homage to Emma Crawford, a woman who came to Manitou Springs searching for a cure for her tuberculosis in the 1800s. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her illness. The love of her life and 11 others carried Emma's coffin to bury her atop Red Mountain. Years later, snowmelt and increased rainfall uncovered her coffin, which slid down the mountain and through town. Today, locals decorate coffins and race down the streets of Manitou Springs to celebrate the beloved Emma Crawford.

Since 1995, the annual event has grown into a Halloween tradition. Not all hope is lost, though, because the city is holding three events in its place: 

"The Year that Wasn't" T-Shirt Contest

Design a t-shirt with the theme of "the year that wasn't," and submit the design to coffinraces@manitouchamber.com by Friday, August 28. All submitted designs will be posted online and at the Manitou Springs Visitors Center. The public is welcome to participate in online voting to select the winner. Voting will close at 5 p.m. on September 11, and winners notified a few days later. Don't miss out on the winning t-shirt pre-order in mid-September!

Emma Crawford Costume Contest

Manitou Springs is the go-to place on the Front Range to dress up, be weird, and have fun. To keep the Emma Crawford spirit alive, join the city in the party by submitting a photo of you in your best costume to coffinraces@manitouchamber.com and post on social media using the hashtag #EmmaCup. The costumes awarded "Best Emma" and "Best Team Theme" will win a prize. The contest runs from October 1 through October 31. 

The Emma Cup: A Socially Distant Scavenger Hunt

Are you an expert detective and love solving riddles? Manitou Springs is inviting teams of up to five to participate in the Emma Cup, a scavenger hunt through the city. Starting October 17 and running through October 25, teams will solve a series of riddles and clues to find things around Manitou Springs. They will submit photos of each completed task to coffinraces@manitouchamber.com. Each correct clue or riddle will earn an entry into a prize drawing.

Register your team now at the Visitors Center or online here