Coffins ‘fund-race’ down Slaughter House Lane |

Coffins ‘fund-race’ down Slaughter House Lane

The Anytime Fitness team of Hunter Hickey, Ryland Desomber, Danny Rich, Crew Kudrna and Jen Tune leave the start line Saturday at the Main Street Gardnerville Slaughterhouse Lane Coffin and Zombie Stretcher races.
Brad Coman |

Coffins are traditionally placed in the ground, but many Carson Valley residents saw them rolling down a 250-foot track Saturday at Heritage Park during Main Street Gardnerville’s third annual Slaughter House Lane Coffin Races.

Sponsored by Get Away Reno Tahoe Magazine, Campora Propane, Store-All, Carson Valley Accounting and The Town of Gardnerville, the family-friendly event is held annually to help kick off the Halloween season.

“We wanted to create a fall event and people just went with the coffin races,” said Suzanne Carreau, Coffin Races committee chair.

Acting as a fundraiser for Main Street Gardnerville, the coffin races are similar to Virginia City’s Outhouse Races which teams of four runners push a homemade coffin down the street with a rider inside the coffin.

Teams were neck to neck in many cases at the Saturday event and it was the first time a photo had to be used to determine the winners.

“It was a tight finish between ‘The Evil Minion Zombies’ and ‘Black Betty,’” said Carreau. “We had to triple check the photo.”

“The Evil Minion Zombies” also known as the Powers family took the people’s choice award while last year’s winner, “Black Betty” from Store-All and the Carson Valley Active 20-30 Club was beaten by Anytime fitness’ coffin “Bleed Purple.”

Carson Valley Girl Scouts Troop 3311 members Jordan Isaac, Samantha Brown, Rebecca Baird, Lolo Scott and Shiloh Campbell competed against each other in the first Zombie Stretcher Race.

The added event consists of teams racing a homemade stretcher and “zombie rider down the track.

Baird and Scott took first place.

“We didn’t really know what to expect with that one,” said Main Street Gardnerville Executive Director Debbi Lehr. “There was a lot of interest from the crowd though so in the future we plan to combine the Harvest Festival and Scarecrow Festival with the coffin races for one big fall event where people can build stretchers and scarecrows and everyone will have something to do.”

Lehr and Carreau hope to see the event continue to grow and become something people look forward to during the season.

More October events

Costume Patch 3:30-6 p.m. Friday at the Family Support Council, 1255 Waterloo Lane Suite A, Gardnerville. Information, 782-8692.

Inaugural Fall Festival 2-5 p.m. Saturday at Kids & Horses, 2869 Esaw Street, Minden. Information, 267-1775.

Cemetery Tour 5:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Friday at the Garden Cemetery, 1536 Cemetery Road, Gardnerville. Cost, $5. Information, 782-2555.

Haunted House open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 28 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Times, 3-6 p.m. small children, 6-10 p.m. main event. Cost, $5 kids under 18, $10 adults, $15 all night pass. Information, 783-6441

Safety Street 3-8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the CVIC Hall. Cost, $3 per child.

Calvary Chapel Carson Valley’s Harvest Festival 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Information, 265-3259.