One of Colorado’s most unique and beloved events is kicking off a new chapter in Estes Park. This year marks the first time Frozen Dead Guy Days will not take place in Nederland — where it has been held for the past 20 years.
For those who aren’t familiar, Frozen Dead Guy Days is an event that celebrates the unusual scenario that brought the frozen body of a deceased Norwegian man to Nederland. Bredo Morstøl, or Grandpa Bredo, as Frozen Dead Guy Days devotees fondly refer to him, passed away in 1989. Instead of a typical burial, his family cryogenically froze his body and shipped it to the U.S. From 1990 to 1993, Morstel’s body was stored in liquid nitrogen at a cryonics facility in California.
In 1993, Morstol was returned to dry ice and shipped to Nederland, where he hung out in a TuffShed in his daughter’s backyard. Over the next decade, the frozen legend gained popularity amongst Nederland residents, and a winter festival was born to pay tribute to Grandpa Bredo. The event quickly caught on and by 2022, Frozen Dead Guy Days attracted approximately 20,000 attendees.
Taking place over St. Patrick’s Day weekend on March 17-19, 2023, the reborn Frozen Dead Guy Days will feature live music and entertainment all weekend long. The Estes Park Events Complex and The Stanley Hotel will host the popular event — with satellite events occurring around town.
The iconic coffin races and the polar plunge will stay a part of the festival line-up of activities along with new and elevated Estes twists, like a frostbite fashion show featuring a Grandpa Bredo and Ice Queen costume contest, Bands & Bloodys Brunch and more.
In addition to these new and classic activities, the music line-up at the Royal Blue Ball at The Stanley Hotel is sure to make anyone sing. From the Boulder-based psychedelic rock n’ roll band, Flash Mountain Flood, to funk band The Pamlico Sound and everything in between, there will be plenty to see this weekend. Music lovers can catch these bands and more all over town during the weekend of the festival, along with the Bands & Bloodys Brunch on Sunday.
Proceeds from the event will go toward funding workforce housing and childcare solutions in Estes Park. Visit Estes Park and The Stanley Hotel have committed to donating all proceeds from ticket sales that surpass operational costs to the area’s recently established workforce housing and childcare funding mechanism.
“We’re very excited to give new life to this iconic Colorado festival while maintaining its quirky vibe,” says Kara Franker, CEO of Visit Estes Park. “Estes is built for events like this as we have the right venues and infrastructure to suit the festival’s size. Additionally, it will support the town during a slower season and ultimately give a boost to workforce housing and childcare.”
FDGD tickets can be purchased now at FrozenDeadGuyDays.com for just $39. Tickets give access to all music, events and activities of the weekend except for the Royal Blue Ball and Coffin Races ($98 per team). Tickets for those events are sold separately.
All images provided by Visit Estes Park/John Berry