Games, Music, and More Coming to Nederland
Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, and a Colorado festival has been capitalizing on that for 19 years. Frozen Dead Guy Days is many things—a music festival, a beer and food expo, a coffin and hearse race, an ice carving competition, and a polar bear plunge, among others.
The History of Grandpa Bredo Morstoel
The festival is premised on the fact that Bredo Morstoel, affectionately known as “Grandpa Bredo,” is a frozen dead (or should we say “temporarily dead”) guy.
He was alive once, from February 28, 1900 until November 6, 1989. When he died of a heart condition in his native Norway, his grandson packed Bredo’s body in dry ice and transported it to the U.S.
Bredo’s body was cryogenically frozen at a California facility, where he remained until 1993.
The Frozen Resting Place of Nederland, Colorado
In 1993, Bredo’s grandson was deported, and Bredo’s body was shipped to Nederland, Colorado, where his daughter lived.
It has been in Nederland ever since, in a plastic garden shed on a mountaintop, surrounded by over 1,000 pounds of foam, dry ice, and blankets.
Bredo has a caretaker who replaces the dry ice every few weeks to keep him around -60 degrees. Need to know more? Catch one of the festival’s frequent showings of the documentary, “Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed.”
Grandpa Bredo Gets a Festival
In 2001, a group of Nederlanders were trying to come up with a name for a late winter festival. Someone cheekily suggested “Frozen Dead Guy Days.” Nineteen years later, Frozen Dead Guy Days attracts crowds of over 25,000. It has been named one of USA Today’s ten best cultural festivals. The festival appears on Everfest’s 300Fest list, a curation of the world’s 300 best festivals.
Festival Games & Competitions
Frozen Dead Guy Days’ anchor is an annual coffin race (you’ll have to beat the perennial favorites — Pink Socks Coffin Racing) with prizes for fastest coffin, best theme, and most notable screw-up.
Other draws include:
- Costumed polar bear plunge
- Frozen t-shirt contest
- Frozen food eating contest
- Game of human Foosball
- Ice turkey bowling
- The Newly Dead Game (a dark take on The Newlywed Game)
- Frozen fix-a-flat competition, where participants hold their hands in icy water for a full minute, before seeing who can change a bike tire the fastest.
- Frozen Dead Poets Slam
Want to get in on the games? They require advance registration.
Frozen Dead Guy Days often receives comparisons to Mardi Gras because attendees dress in costumes and storm the streets.
Think your costume is good enough to win an award? Attend Blue Ball, the festival’s costume ball. Here for the music? Get a $25 wristband and catch all the Bands, playing in heated tents throughout the festival. If the chilly excitement becomes a bit much, thaw out with a craft beer or cocktail at the Reanimate Yourself Tent.