Small town Manitou loves to dress up, party, and parade, almost any excuse will do, but this year Valentine’s Day landed on the same date as Manitou’s Mardi Gras celebration. Two celebrations on the same day! Our Carnivale may not be as fancy or elaborate as the New Orleans Mardi Gras, but it’s lively and funky and a whole lot of fun. Take a peek at what was happening on Manitou Avenue on Valentine-Mardi Gras Day.
Balloons in red, white, and pink for Valentines and traditional purple, gold, and green for Mardi Gras.
Keep Manitou Weird! The local resident’s political manifesto can be found on signs and t-shirts all around town.
Fran Sakanai & Jeremy Hoffman Fun Costumes
scary friends, and laughing babies!
Bet you didn’t know today is Global Belly Laugh Day. What a great idea! Click here for more information about the benefits of laughter and Global Belly Laugh Day.
Need help to laugh-out-loud:
Watch your favorite comedy on DVD. Don’t have a favorite? Try The Gods Must be Crazy I or II. (available to watch on-line). I actually think 2 might be funnier. Sweet, un-pretentious films that became something of a world phenomena when they were released in the 1980’s.
Don’t have a computer or T.V.? Read any of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch. A bit raunchy and the only books that make me laugh out loud. Try your local library. Warning: these books (all 21 of them) are highly addictive.
Enjoy Global Belly Laugh Day!
Emma Crawford did nothing in her short lifetime that would be considered legendary, nor was her unfortunate death an uncommon one. It was the events following her death that would make Emma the most famous woman in Manitou’s history. Emma arrived in Manitou Springs, a fashionable health and summer resort, in 1889 seeking a cure for her tuberculosis. At first she prospered from Manitou’s clean mountain air, warm sunshine, dry climate, and natural mineral springs. Then one fateful day she was beckoned by her spirit guide, a handsome, young Indian brave, into climbing to the top of Red Mountain. While at the top Emma tied a scarf to a tree branch and when she returned home that evening she told her family that if she died she wished to be buried beneath the designated tree. Emma suffered a relapse and died on December 4, 1891 at age 28. Emma was buried at the top of Red Mountain according to her wishes. Shortly after the burial it was reported that Emma was seen strolling on the mountainside dressed in her favorite gown and in the company of…an Indian brave.After the turn of the century, a cog railroad was built at the top of Red Mountain and Emma’s grave was moved to a different location on the mountain. Following decades of erosion, a particularly heavy rainfall dislodged Emma’s coffin and sent it sliding down the side of the mountain scattering fragments of the coffin and Miss Emma along the way. Eventually, Emma was buried for the third and final time in Manitou’s Crystal Valley Cemetery …but her story wasn’t quite finished….
For the past 20 years, on the last Saturday before Halloween, Manitou hosts the weird, the macabre, and the fiendishly-fun Emma Crawford Coffin Races. At the foot of her beloved Red Mountain, teams dressed in outlandish costumes compete against each other by pushing hand-built coffins…on wheels…through downtown Manitou. Inside each coffin is a team member dressed, of course, as Emma. Prizes are awarded for the fastest coffin, the best-decorated coffin, and the best-dressed Emma. Each year thousands of spectators line Manitou Avenue to cheer the madly-careening coffins as they race toward the finish line. Spectators are often costumed as well. With each year the event grows in size and popularity and now includes Emma’s wake, fireworks, a parade, and walking ghost tours; altogether, a fitting observance of Emma’s ride down the mountain and into local legend. Continue reading