Frozen Dead Guy Days

Posted by: admin November 2nd, 2018

With Halloween just around the corner, our minds are filled with thoughts of ghosts and ghouls and other things that go bump in the night. Frozen dead guys, however, are usually not one of those things. For the people of Nederland, Colorado, however, frozen dead guys are never far from their mind.

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Located less than twenty miles outside of Boulder, the town of Nederland has a rather interesting history. What began as a trading post between the Utes and European settlers in the 1850s eventually turned into a center for mining operations as precious metals were discovered in towns to the North, East, and West of Nederland. Today, the small town is known more for being a gateway to many outdoor recreational sites such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Roosevelt National Park, and Indian Peaks Wilderness, as well as their annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival that celebrates the existence of a cryogenically frozen corpse known affectionately as Grandpa Bredo. Grandpa Bredo, a Norwegian citizen by birth, was brought to America in 1989 by his grandson, Trygve, after having passed away shortly before being cryogenically frozen. Trygve and his mother, Aud, had come to America to avoid the threat of nuclear war in Europe and set about building a disaster-proof home in which to live out their days. For the four years Trygve and Aud spent building the home, Grandpa Bredo resided in California at the Trans Time cryonics facility in Oakland. The corpse’s daughter and grandson had hoped to build a cryonics facility of their own to revive their family member, and moved the man to Colorado with them, storing the frozen body in a small garden shed.

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Unfortunately, their dream would not come to pass. Trygve was deported back to Norway for overstaying his visa, and Aud was eventually evicted due to a violation of housing ordinances in that she had neither plumbing nor electricity in the disaster-proof home. In an effort to save her father’s corpse, and those of two other individuals, Aud asked local reporters to plead her case. It failed. Aud was convicted of building-use and zoning violations. In response to the uproar this verdict caused, the city added a new provision to its Municipal Code covering the keeping of bodies that would allow for Grandpa Bredo’s corpse to remain on the property. His grandson Trygve made the necessary preparations and the rest, as they say, is history.

These days, Nederland celebrates their eccentricities and Grandpa Bredo by hosting the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival during the first full weekend in March. What started out as a joking suggestion for the theme of the town’s spring festival has turned into a rather popular, if not a bit morbid, attraction for the small town. A portion of the proceeds goes towards the maintenance of the Tuff Shed that now houses the frozen man but also serves to help the town itself. Attendees enjoy three days of live music, excellent foods, and specially made ice cream from Glacier Ice Cream whose headquarters are in nearby Boulder. The flavor of choice? Frozen Dead Guy, of course! Coffin racing, Polar Bear Plunge, Human Foosball, and Snow Sculpture contests are only a few of the many activities hosted over the weekend. 

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So next time you find yourself with ghoulies and ghosties on the brain, take a minute to think about attending Nederland’s Frozen Dead Guy Days. As one attendee said, “I’ve never felt so alive!”