Join us for a morning stroll with Schufly Boxman

“I don’t understand it, but I love it.”

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, dances to a house remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as he makes his way around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, dances to a house remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as he makes his way around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
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Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was full of people in costume, dressed as pirates, Storm Troopers and Irish people. But one costumed crusader spent his time outside the official parade route.

“I don’t understand it, but I love it,” one person said as he passed by, green cape fluttering in the wind.

“That is Boxman! What’s Boxman?” someone else blurted out.

His name is Schufly Boxman. He’s got a cardboard box for a head, a glowing yin-yang for a face, a surgical-mask collage for cheeks and, this day, a superhero costume.

“Once you go superhero, you can’t go back from that,” he told us as we followed him through the crowds. “As stupid and funny as that is, it’s real.”

People stare at Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, as he wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

People stare at Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, as he wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

While most people had no idea who he was, most everyone was excited to see him. He spent Saturday morning dancing his way through LoDo and taking selfies with strangers who were floored to be in his presence.

“He’s a positive force in the community. He’s spreading joy on a cultural holiday. We just can’t get enough of Boxman and we want to see more of him,” John Trego said after their short visit together, adding: “No, I’ve never seen Boxman before.”

John Trego daps Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, as he wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

John Trego daps Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, as he wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Harleigh Moreno was familiar with the character. On and off through the last seven months, she said, he’s popped into Urban Farmer Steakhouse, where she works, to take photos with people.

“I see him all the time,” she said. “I know he’s a box. And he’s a man in the box, right?”

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, wanders around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

So who is Schufly Boxman??

His real name is Craig Schumacker. He lives in Aurora and runs a vending machine business. His college friends gave him the nickname Schufly because they thought he bore a resemblance to Marty McFly’s dad, George, and the moniker stuck.

Schumacker said he came up with the idea about a year ago, then became obsessed with his new persona. His social media pages are filled with photos and videos of him interacting with strangers at Walmart and in the grocery store. He’s ended up in other people’s content, too, like a YouTube prankster who ran into him in a parking lot.

In the video, he explains his origin story:

“I created it when I got COVID,” he tells the YouTuber. “I was trying to find a way to tell people it was all a bunch of bull**** with everything going on, so I thought, ‘Hey, what speaks louder than something like this?'”

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, he walks through LoDo as Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade goes on a block away. March 11, 2023.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, walks through LoDo as Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade goes on a block away. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The bull he mentioned has something to do with fighting censorship, he told us.

“This is my version of double [middle] fingers up to anybody who tells me how to live my life,” he said. “Art is free speech, and if you’re not being heard, we speak with art.”

While Schumacker wouldn’t elaborate too much on this, he did share one story that got at some of the things he was feeling when Boxman was born. One day, after he’d already made one headpiece, he went to a bank that still required a face mask to enter. A security guard stopped him at the door.

“So I walked out to my truck and I grabbed my box and I walked in, and he started having a meltdown,” he remembered, laughing. “I said, ‘No, you told me I had to wear this, so this is my mask.'”

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, walks alongside Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, walks alongside Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Walking around with him, it’s clear the political stuff has become less important.

While Schumacker, who’s 54 and describes himself as very libertarian, may be partially motivated by censorship or culture war issues, he doesn’t talk about it too much and his social channels are mostly free of politics. Instead, you get the feeling he’s gotten hooked on the smiles that beam toward him wherever he goes.

“The faces I see are so awesome, the way people react,” he said.

Kinsley (7) goes face-to-box with Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, during Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kinsley (7) goes face-to-box with Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, during Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Though his mom and his wife kind of hate his new hobby, he’s found immense joy as he’s made and remade the character.

“This is an artistic growth for me that I’ve never had.”

Brandon Bordt takes a selfie with Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, during Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Brandon Bordt takes a selfie with Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, during Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

And the anonymity he’s found inside his rectangular cranium has allowed him to be someone else, he said, or maybe more like himself.

“I hope that others can see that and appreciate that liberty,” he told us as children gazed, wide-eyed, up at him.

He paused at a parking lot party as he made his way through the crowds. A dance remix of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” filled the air, and Schumacker – Boxman – danced like no one was watching.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, dances to a house remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as he makes his way around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Schufly Boxman, AKA Craig Schumacker, dances to a house remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as he makes his way around Denver's annual St. Patrick's Day parade in LoDo. March 11, 2023.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.