Cryogenics meets local culture in the one-of-a-kind Frozen Dead Guy Days festival, held every year in Nederland, Colorado.
Nederland, home of the cryogenically frozen Grandpa Bredo, gained international attention when the media learned of Grandpa’s post-mortem journey from Norway to Oakland, Calif., and then on to Nederland. Today, the body is among Nederland’s most famous residents.
Every month, it is packed with 1,o00 pounds of fresh dry ice, thanks to Bo Shaffer and his team, who also give tours to investigators, filmmakers, local volunteers, and even psychics who allegedly communicate with the dearly departed.
In honor of Grandpa, Nederland, which self-admittedly thrives on the “colorful, the offbeat, and the weird,” hosts the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days. Every March, on the weekend when the cold winter days “Spring Forward” into warmer days, Nederland rolls out a lavish celebration that Grandpa’s grandson calls “Cryonics’ first Mardi Gras.”
Frozen Dead Guy Days Events
Festival highlights include coffin races, the Blue Ball and a parade of hearses.
Many events are designed to raise funds for local organizations, such as a pancake breakfast supporting the local senior center, an open house at the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center, and a costumed polar plunge raises funds to support the Nederland Fire Department.
Nederland’s First Street is transformed into a pedestrian mall, so zombie revelers can participate, first-hand in the action. A highligh is the Re-Animate Yourself Beer Tent, which features live music, microbrew beer from the Avery Brewing Company, and specialty corpse reviver spirit drinks. A mini-film festival features a collection of movie and TV clips with scenes about funerals, cremation, and cryonics.
Other events include ice turkey bowling, brain freeze contests, a parade of hearses, a snowy beach volleyball contest, a frozen t-shirt contest and a frozen salmon tossing contest. New activities this year will include readings from the Frozen Dead Poets Society.
March 7-9, 2014