The eighth annual Casket Races brought spectators, kids and pets dressed up for Halloween, along with 18 teams of costumed competitors to the 400 block of Beloit on Oct. 26. 

The fastest casket belonged to Bilingual Montessori Lab Academy, competing for the first time ever. In fact, they inherited the coffin the day before the race and signed up as a last-minute entrant. “I can’t believe it!” said Claudia Medina, whose husband, Rosalio, was one of the runners. “I’m so excited.” 

Second place went to the Park District of Forest Park, third to Currie Motors, and “dead last” to Century & Sleuths.

Hundreds of spectators gathered to watch. Commissioner Joe Byrnes said, “It was the largest crowd we’ve ever seen.”

Forest Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurie Kokenes was thrilled with Saturday’s event. 

“The energy at the Casket Races this year was the best it’s ever been,” said Kokenes. “The participants and the crowd were excited, and that’s what makes the event so great.”

Even the weather cooperated, with the rain holding off just long enough for the final award to be handed out.