A festival about a dead guy? If it sounds like something you’d only see in a movie or on a TV show, think again. Colorado’s arguably quirkiest town, Nederland hosts the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival every year in March.
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If you like the offbeat, and the downright weird, you won’t want to miss this one. The event celebrates a Norwegian immigrant whose dead body is still frozen in a Tuff Shed.
Grandpa Bredo Morsteol is in a wooden box that surrounds his coffin which holds about 1,500 pounds of dry ice. Most of the time he’s chilling out in the Tuff Shed, with his grandson keeping him preserved in the cryonic state.
Morsteol is the inspiration for this wack party that includes a variety of bizarre events to honor the town’s favorite dead guy. Thousands gather for activities like the coffin races, a parade of hearses, salmon tossing, a frozen t-shirt contest where participants race to don folder T-shirts that are frozen solid, human foosball, frozen turkey bowling where contestants line up to throw the frosty fowl at a bunch of skittles, and a costumed polar plunge.
It all begins on Friday afternoon with the Royal Blue Ball which features live music, and, at the masquerade, those who have the best Ice Queen and Grandpa Bredo costumes are crowned and featured in the Saturday parade.
It’s a sight to see with the parade of hearses making its way along the main street with the aroma of marijuana, BBQ and craft beer wafting through the air.
The vintage Cadillacs and Buicks are liberally customized, decked out with studded steel plating, tinted windows, and lots of “undead” paraphernalia. In recent years there’s been a dancing Zombie Elvis too.
For most of the year, this is a fairly sleepy if slightly strange mountain town with lots of interesting characters, attracting visitors from nearby Boulder, Denver and beyond to enjoy recreational activities like hiking and climbing, and The Eldora Mountain Resort is a popular spot for skiing and boarding in the winter. There are an increasingly growing number of top-notch restaurants in town to fuel appetites along with unique shops for browsing and buying. After dark, it boasts a fantastic live music scene.