Much like the Costanza family's celebration of Festivus in Seinfeld, Colorado is no stranger to quirky fairs and festivals. I mean, Colorado State University students run around in their underwear every spring — is anyone really surprised?

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The Centennial State is home to a number of bizarre events dedicated to the wonderful and the weird. Read on to see the seven Colorado fairs and festivals you (probably) had no idea existed:

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival | Fruita

In the 1940s, a Fruita-area chicken named Mike survived an ax attack and lived for another 18 months without his head. He became a national sensation — now, the town of Fruita honors his memory each year with a festival.

This year's festival is going down on June 3 and 4. Attendees can enjoy a poultry show, a car show, and more chicken-themed fun.

The Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival | Manitou Springs

In 1891, area woman Emma Crawford passed away from tuberculosis. Her family attempted to bury her on the top of Red Mountain; however, the grave was unsteady, and her coffin eventually slid back down. Today, locals honor the unusual tale with coffin races.

 

 

 

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Manitou Springs hasn't set a date for this year's festival, but it will likely take place in October. When the time comes, attendees can enjoy the coffin race, ghost tours, and historical tributes to Crawford.

Lafayette Oatmeal Festival | Lafayette

Every year, locals come together for the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival. Sponsored by Quaker Oats, the festival celebrates "healthy lifestyles" with a hot oatmeal breakfast, a 5K, and more.

This year's festival was virtual because of COVID-19, but the Lafayette Chamber is planning an in-person celebration in 2023.

Giant Pumpkin Festival | Colorado Springs

Every fall, pumpkin-growers head to Colorado Springs to see who has grown the most gargantuan gourd. Aside from the competition, attendees can enjoy a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, live music, food trucks, and more. 

There's no official date for this year's festival yet, but visitcos.com says it will take place at the end of October.

Frozen Dead Guy Days | Nederland

When Bredo Morstoel died in 1989, his grandson buried him with dry ice and kept him in a shed in Nederland. Morstoel's body is still freezing there today — and the town celebrates him with an annual festival.

This year's festival has already happened, but attendees can look forward to more coffin racing, polar plunging, cocktail drinking, and more in 2023.

Colorado Lavender Festival | Palisade

Every year, Coloradans go all out to celebrate a plant (nope, not marijuana). Attendees can tour lavender farms, make lavender wreaths, and enjoy a lavender and wine dinner.

This year's festival is happening from June 24 to June 26 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. Tickets go on sale in April.

Naked Pumpkin Run | Boulder

For years, Boulder residents celebrated Halloween by running around naked with pumpkins on their heads — much to the dismay of local law enforcement. We're not including a photo of this one for...obvious reasons.

The festival is now defunct, but it will go down in history as one of Colorado's weirdest events.


These festivals aren't the only things that make the Centennial State unique. Check out 26 things (and people) that Colorado is famous for in the gallery below:

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