In A Nutshell
Frozen Dead Guy Days have been celebrated in Nederland, Colorado since 2002. The annual festival is a celebration in honor of a cryonically frozen corpse. His name is Bredo Morstoel, but people call him Grandpa Bredo.
The Whole Bushel
Bredo Morstel was born in Norway and lived a modest life as the director of parks and recreation for the local county. Sadly, he passed away in his homeland in 1989 at age 85. This is pretty much all we know about his life.
Now, maybe it’s because they’re Norwegian (or maybe not), but Bredo’s family are strong believers in cryonically preserving loved ones. Shortly after Bredo’s death, his grandson Trygve had his corpse frozen with dry ice and prepared for travel to the United States. What’s the first stop for a frozen body? Trans Time Cryonics in Oakland, California for a swim in the world’s coldest swimming pool. After leaving the facility and his liquid nitrogen home for the previous four years, it was off to Nederland, Colorado to stay with his daughter Aud and grandson Trygve.
Up until the mid-1990s, everything was hunky dory for Bredo. He stayed in a perpetually frozen state in a makeshift cryogenics facility in Aud’s and Trygve’s home. Unfortunately, Trygve’s visa expired around this time, and he was deported. Having to support the household alone, Aud began to have financial troubles. At one point, the water and electricity were turned off and she was evicted. (How does one keep a body cryonically frozen with no electricity anyway?)
This is when the authorities (and the quirky people of Nederland) first learned of Grandpa Bredo. The city council passed a law making it illegal to store frozen bodies in homes. Maybe it was a slower-than-usual news day in Nederland, but a media frenzy ensued and public support was firmly with the family. Aud found a place where her father could legally chill out and hired a local man named Bo Shaffer to deliver 1,600 pounds of dry ice to the subzero mausoleum every month.
Bo realized the media and public attention regarding his frozen client and began giving tours to the colorful, offbeat residents of Nederland. The tours were massively popular with the locals, and it quickly turned into a party.
Frozen Dead Guy Days was born in 2002 and has been celebrated annually ever since. Each March, the small town swells with people, many dressed as frozen corpses. Beer tents are brought in and vendors set up shop. The town holds events such as coffin races, dead guy look-a-like contests, and a polar plunge. Generally, people are there to party in the cold, but they also set aside some time to remember Grandpa Bredo, the town’s most famous resident. The event has grown into a well-known festival and was recently mentioned in the Chicago Tribune as a “Must See.”