Celebrate Bredo Morstoel, the coolest (literally) guy in Nederland.
At 8,236 feet above sea level, you can shake off the winter freeze in celebration of a frozen guy who is just biding his time until the big thaw. No, I don't mean the big thaw that comes with springtime—I mean the big thaw as in brought back to life after being in a 30-year state of cryogenically induced suspended animation.
Affectionately known by Nederland residents as "Grandpa," Bredo Morstøl has been a sort-of resident of the town since 1993. Morstøl, interestingly, was never a living resident of Nederland, spending his entire life in Norway, where he loved painting, outdoor activities and serving as director of his home's parks and recreation agency. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1989, and that is where his international journey began.
"After he died, things got really interesting. Instead of a burial, he was packed in dry ice and prepared for international travel. First, he was shipped to the Trans Time cryonics facility in Oakland, California, where he was placed in liquid nitrogen for almost four years. Then, he was moved to Colorado in 1993 to stay with his daughter, Aud Morstøl, and his grandson, Trygve Bauge, both strong advocates for cryonics who hoped to start a facility of their own," says the celebration's website.
But Bauge was deported back to Norway, and Aud was found to be living in a home with no electricity or plumbing and was evicted. She was heading back to Norway, but out of fear for her father's un-frigid fate, she convinced the city council to help keep him frozen until it was his time to shine again.
Now, a caretaker and local residents pack around 1,600 pounds of dry ice to pack around Grandpa in his Tuff Shed home, keeping him at a frosty -60 degrees Fahrenheit. And, the town's most-famous resident spurred an annual festival in his honor and to shake off the snow and welcome the spring.
"For a town like Nederland that thrives on the colorful, the offbeat, and the weird, Frozen Dead Guy Days is a fitting way to end the short days of winter and head into the melting snows of spring," says FrozenDeadGuyDays.org. "The community experiences a new burst of life with the festival’s creative contests, icy events (including coffin racing, polar plunging, frozen salmon tossing) basically if it is fun and can be done in the cold, it goes! People come from around the world every March to experience the legacy of Grandpa Bredo – even representatives of cryonics organizations who want share the science behind this unique story."
And you can be part of the celebration!
This year's festival will take place on March 13-15, where you can both watch and participate in many of the zany events like coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests, icy turkey bowling, human foosball, and more!
The celebration will also feature 30 live bands in three heated "ReAnimate Yourself" tents, which also contain craft brews, spirits, craft food vendors, and much more!
Come on down for Grandpa's Mall Crawl down Nederland's 1st Strett and enjoy street performers or participate in brain freezing and frozen t-shirt contests. Or maybe put on your coolest duds and attend the Blue Ball. Ice Carving, Frozen Fix-A-Flat, and Frozen Dead Poet Slam are just a few of the many events that are sure to get crazy enough to wake up the dead. You can check out the full event schedule here.
"All adventurous life enthusiasts welcome. Entry fee for all three live music tents only $25 a day and event viewing is FREE, like we hope your spirits will be," says the event website.
If you are interested in giving Grandpa a nod and breaking through the ice of winter, check out the Frozen Dead Guy Days website.