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Nederland’s Icy Legacy: Celebrating the Frozen Dead Guy Days

The Frozen Dead Guy Days: A Chilling Tradition in Nederland, Colorado

In the quaint town of Nederland, Colorado, an unusual festival known as the Frozen Dead Guy Days has captured both local and global attention. This bizarre and quirky event, recently relocated to Estes Park, Colorado, is rooted in a story that is as peculiar as the festival itself.

Origins: The Tale of Grandpa Bredo

The Frozen Dead Guy Days began with the story of Bredo Morstoel, affectionately referred to as “Grandpa Bredo”. A Norwegian citizen, Morstoel passed away in 1989 and was subsequently cryogenically frozen by his family, with hopes that future medical technology could revive him. His grandson, Trygve Bauge, transported the frozen body to Nederland, Colorado, in 1993, storing it in a Tuff Shed on dry ice.

The Discovery and the Birth of a Festival

The bizarre story of a frozen man stored in a shed in Colorado soon became public, leading to a mixture of intrigue and regulatory scrutiny. Nederland authorities initially sought to remove Grandpa Bredo’s body. However, the community’s fascination with this odd tale led to the creation of the Frozen Dead Guy Days in 2002, celebrating Grandpa Bredo’s unusual posthumous journey.

A coffin race during Frozen Dead Guy Days in 2005. Photo Credit Joshua Beck/The Longmont Daily Times-Call, via Associated Press

Festive and Frosty Activities

Frozen Dead Guy Days quickly evolved into a festival like no other, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The event includes a variety of chilling activities:

Coffin Racing: Teams race homemade coffins on wheels, navigating a snowy obstacle course.

Polar Plunges: Brave participants dive into freezing waters, often in costume.

Frozen T-shirt Contests: Contestants race to thaw and wear frozen shirts.

Ice Turkey Bowling: A winter twist on bowling using frozen turkeys.

Cultural Impact and Recent Relocation

The festival not only celebrates the frozen dead but also reflects the unique, eccentric spirit of Nederland. It has become a significant cultural and economic event for the town. In a surprising turn of events, the festival was moved to Estes Park, Colorado, in 2023, due to logistical and commercial considerations. This relocation marks a new chapter for the Frozen Dead Guy Days, promising to keep the legacy of Grandpa Bredo alive in a new location.

Conclusion: A Legacy Beyond the Grave

The Frozen Dead Guy Days stands as a testament to human curiosity, community spirit, and the ability to find humor and joy in the most unusual circumstances. It is a celebration that transcends the typical, offering a unique experience that continues to draw intrigue and fascination from all corners of the world.

Bowling with frozen turkeys. Photo Credit: Frozen Dead Guy Days

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