Nederland, Colorado is host to an annual fun-filled, family-friendly festival which consists of people dressing up as frozen or dead people in commemoration of a cryogenically-preserved Norwegian kept in a shed and looked after by his family. Yes, it really is – it’s the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival and it takes place in the first two weeks of March every year.
The grandfather in question is Grandpa Bredo Morstoel who was Director of Parks and Recreation in Norway’s Baerum County for 30 years. After his death he was packed in ice and brought by his daughter and grandson to a cryogenics facility in California where he stayed for four years. They then moved him to Nederland as they intended to set up their own cryonic facility.
As a result of this strange tale, Nederland introduced a law forbidding the keeping of a frozen dead body, whether human or animal and Grandpa Bred is excluded as the result of a “grandfather clause” (seriously – it basically means an exemption to a law). An “ice man” is employed to keep Bredo topped up with dry ice and deal with press enquiries.
Events occurring during the festival include brain freeze contests, coffin-running races, salmon-tossing and a charity polar plunge into a freezing lake. Celebrants can also attend “Grandpa’s Blue Ball” and some have a drink with Bredo in his shed.
Two short films have been made about the frozen grandfather – Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed and Grandpa’s Still in the Tuff Shed, and I love the credited cast on IMDB “The puzzled townsfolk of Nederland, Colorado.”
There’s even been an Edinburgh Fringe show featuring the story.
Have you been to Frozen Dead Guy Days? Was it as cheery and friendly as it looks? Answers below …