Stephen Lawton, left, Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon, Alex Meier, Michelle Wolf and Brad Pon celebrate their success nabbing first place in the annual Safe ‘n’ Sane Coffin Race. Photos by Makenzie Davis

Annual Safe ‘n’ Sane, coffin races draw a crowd

Wind rippling off the passing coffins gently nudged the superhero capes, princess ball gowns and ghoulish costumes at the annual Safe ‘n’ Sane Halloween event in Uptown Susanville Tuesday, Oct. 31 as they raced to win.

In addition to the seemingly bottomless candy stashes, local youth were able to visit Uptown businesses and local organizations, filling their candy bags while watching various groups race an amped-up coffin down Main Street.

Taylor Lau, 9, steps up to the mound ready to pitch as Madison Bumgarner for the San Francisco Giants.

More than 1,000 people were expected to fill Uptown Main Street, which was temporarily blocked off to traffic.

“We had the most kids, err, ghoulies and ghosties I have ever seen,” said HUSA member David Teeter. “Our coffin teams, from old reliables like Diamond Mountain Casino and Lassen College Gunsmiths Guild, to newcomers like Les Schwab put on a great show. The dance studios kicked it, and we had some fun original costumes at the costume contests, with Soroptimist and Treats at Milwood Florist pitching in at the last minute to help us out. We needed all of those organizations because we didn’t have the badly missed Sharon Pregill, who we expect back next year.”

For the fourth annual Coffin Races, the groups did not disappoint.

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office nabbed first place, with a final time of 24.56 seconds. Diamond Mountain Casino, last year’s winner, took second, with 25.32 seconds, third went to Lassen Community College Gunsmiths Guild, with 26 seconds, and Lassen Family Services came in fourth place with 27.13 seconds.

Additionally, Lassen Family Services nabbed the prize for the coffin-decorating contest.

Moreover, during the event, locals could show off their elaborate costumes, both for humans and our furry pups, in costume contests.

Gardner Taylor Crews holds her flower garden, Chloe Crews, 1, Tuesday, Oct. 31 at the Uptown Safe ‘n’ Sane event.

The annual event is a collaboration between the Historic Uptown Susanville Association, the city of Susanville and many other community partners.


Here are the costume contest winners:


Age 0 to 4 years: First place, Noah Grover, second Kasen Mankins and third place Jaycee Whitlock.


Age 5 to 12 years: First place Cori Prentiss, second place Izaiah Bonell and third place Samantha Bigs.


Age 13 and up: First place, Madee Cluck and second place Madisen Wallace.


Dog winner: Mork, the minion, claimed the first place prize.


Window Decorating: Mt. Lassen Properties wowed the judges

Elisa, 9, Emma, 7 and Elani Ruiz, 5, channel their inner trolls in costumes made by their mom.

with its display.