FOREST PARK – Want to put a thrill of a different sort in your Halloween celebrations?

Suburban Forest Park is gearing up to host a “creepy” competition featuring some devilishly delightful and creative caskets! That’s right, caskets!

It’s all part of the 10th Annual Forest Park Casket Races which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22 on Beloit Avenue between Madison and Adams.

“The Forest Park casket races was born out of the idea that Forest Park was once referred to as the village of cemeteries and has more residents residing underground than they do above ground. In fact, it’s 50 to 1,” said Laurie Kokenes, Executive Director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce. “So, we decided we should own Halloween. Some towns have bed races, other towns have 5ks and Forest Park has casket races.”

Here’s how the race works. Each team designs their own ‘casket” and then pushes it down a 585-foot course as fast as they can.

All ‘caskets’ must have four handles, four wheels, no steering mechanism, a place for a rider to sit, and four teammates to push it.

All teams race twice in heats of two, to log their fastest time, then the top four teams race to determine who wins 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.

“We have about 19 teams right now and we operate pretty well at about 20-22 teams. So there is room for a couple of more entries if folks would like to join,” said Kokenes.

The winners will receive trophies created by local artists with the Forest Park Arts Alliance and fired in a kiln in Forest Park.

“We’ve always had some amazing trophies. Some were concrete tombstones for first, second and third,” said Kokones. “There’s also a dead last trophy…Some folks want to get that dead last trophy, so they kind of move along the racecourse as slowly as possible.”

Participants can also win a Funniest Casket award or Creepiest Casket award, plus there’s a Best House Party award for residents hosting the race on their block.

Kokenes adds a DJ will play Halloween-related songs during the races, which will also include food and fun for fans.

 ‘We have six to eight local vendors with local coffee and sweet treats, and a little bit of breakfast food. The boy scouts are selling popcorn. It’s really a family, kind of community-oriented event,” said Kokenes. “And then after the casket races there’s trick or treat on Madison street from 12:30-2:30 “.

The event is free and begins with the “caskets” on display from 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

A parade of “caskets” will be held at 10:30 a.m., with the “casket” races kicking off at 11 a.m. and a kid’s costume parade before the final heat.

“We encourage you to come out and see how friendly the Forest Park community is.” said Kokones.

You can find out more information on the Forest Park Casket Races here and in the video above.