NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – A quirky festival drawing tens of thousands to Nederland each year is slated to end. Frozen Dead Guy Days has been an annual tradition in the small mountain town since 2002.

(credit: CBS)

The three-day event is named after Bredo Morstoel, a man from Norway whose body is preserved in a shed full of dry ice high above Nederland.

PHOTO GALLERY: Frozen Dead Guy Days 2019

Thousands from across Colorado gathered Saturday along the town’s main street, many dressed in costumes with their faces painted. They took part in colorful festivities, including the frozen turkey toss, polar plunge and coffin racing.

(credit: CBS)

With an estimated crowd topping 20,000, this year’s crowd might be the biggest in the festival’s 18-year-history.

After nearly 10 years in charge, the festival’s owner, Amanda MacDonald, said that she is calling it quits.

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia interviews Amanda MacDonald. (credit: CBS)

“It’s a lot to take on, you know, and the risk of it all… all of the financial responsibilities… it’s just a little too much,” MacDonald told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

The news came as a disappointment for long-time festival-goers who attend every year.

“I’ve been coming here most of my life,” said Caleb Bryant, a Nederland resident. “It’s all about the culture. It’s a beautiful time. And it kind of sucks to hear that they’re closing it down.”

”We would love to be back next year if that’s still happening. This was our first time so I’m glad we got it in if we’re not going to see it again,” said Jessie Thomas, who came from Boulder.

Other first-timers hope there will be a “next time.”

(credit: CBS)

“Lots of crazy random stuff, so it’s right up my alley,” said Katherine Roth, visiting from Golden.

“I don’t think they should ever cancel it. It should stay going,” said Morgan Lindala, who lives in Evergreen.

Locals share the same hope.

“I have no doubt that the people of Nederland are going to keep the festival open regardless of whether it’s (called) Frozen Dead Guy Days or (something else),” Bryant said.

MacDonald was hoping to form a nonprofit organization that could take over to keep the tradition going.

LINK: Frozen Dead Guy Days