Storm won’t stop Frozen Dead Guy Days

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Every state has its unique celebrations and events, and Colorado is no different. We have Frozen Dead Guy Days. Seriously. This weekend is the twelfth annual Frozen Dead Guy celebration in Nederland, Colo.

Nederland (elev. 8,234 ft.) is a small mountain community (pop. 1,500) just 17 miles up the canyon west of Boulder. It retains much of its picturesque old mining town appeal, even as million dollar homes have popped up on the surrounding mountainsides.

The Frozen Dead Guy is former resident “Grandpa Bredo” Morstoel, who died in 1989 at the age of 89. And he is indeed frozen — cryogenically. Since 1993 his body has been stored in a Tuff Shed near Nederland and his Norwegian family hopes that one day technology will bring him back to life.

Meantime the town of Nederland and some 15,000 visitors celebrate him every year in March, come rain, sun, or snowstorm. This year it looks like it will be snowstorm, but organizers insist the festivities will go on. Scheduled events include the parade of hearses, ice turkey bowling, frozen salmon toss, coffin race, frozen T-shirt contest, and a polar bear plunge. Tours of Grandpa’s Bredo’s Tuff Shed will also be available, along with, of course, lots of live music and microbrew beer.

Here’s what it looked like in 2010:

Lots more on YouTube.

12 comments

  1. Awesome! Any reason to have a party, right? If we can ever thaw these guys out, they can review the old footage, although I’m not sure they’d really be interested, but you never know. I mean, the question of, “so what’s been going on around here while I was a corpsesickle,” probably wouldn’t be answered by a review of the parties that took place.

    Personally, I’m thinking it’s more likely we’ll figure out how to digitize the human brain before we can figure out how to thaw and regrow new bodies for existing neural networks. More likely, these dudes will eventually wake up inside a computer simulation along with everyone else that’s be digitized. Future retirement communities for dead people will probably exist in a computer system. It’ll be like SimCity for dead people. I may join them.

    1. Hey, CU is a notorious party school and has been since I went there (one year) back in the ’60s. They never let a good party excuse pass them by. And FDGD probably provides a big chunk of the town’s annual income, so the town fights to keep the sponsorship. The rights to FDGD were almost sold a couple of years ago but, as I recall, some local stepped in to make sure the festival didn’t leave Nederland.

      Safe to say I don’t lie awake nights worrying about a bunch of former frozen dead guys walking around. I do think the folks that only have their heads frozen are closer to what might occur in the future, but I still don’t see human cells surviving the deep freeze in working condition. Their DNA … that’s a possibility. Obviously I don’t read enough scifi.

  2. OMG, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry PT! I wonder what Grandpa Bredo’s family thinks of all this? And please tell me that isn’t his “coffin” being opened up for the kids to peer into! 😯

    1. Well, I don’t know, but I kind of got the impression it was. Except you wouldn’t just pop open a cryogenic container like that, would you? Maybe it’s an outer container of some kind? Or maybe just a prop to show visitors …

      The last population “boom” in Nederland was the hippies in the ’60s. And I think that’s still the sort of people FDGD attracts. The last time I was up there, I was going through little shops in old wood-floored buildings selling crystals ala New Age, tourist kitsch, and handcrafted items. Sidewalks were wood planks, like an old frontier town.

    1. Seems like I did read somewhere about legal battles a few years ago. Haven’t heard about power outages, but they’re always possible, especially during storms like the one predicted for tomorrow.

      Yep, Nederland is … umm … yeah, “quirky” works. It’s where I go when I want to go back to the ’60s. But I rarely stop, since I’m usually heading to or from Estes.

    1. I should have guessed you’d say that. 🙂 Should be interesting up there tomorrow. I think they have upwards of 2 feet of snow in their forecast — with high winds.

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