By Alan Gionet

NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Grandpa Bredo Morstoel might be smiling down from the shed above town where he lies frozen, packed in dry ice, but no one can be sure of course. Nederland came alive this weekend again with the return of Frozen Dead Guy Days.

“Right when everything hit, this thing was canceled that week three days before we were about to have this in 2020,” said Shawn Camden, front man for Los Cheesies a Boulder based band that was set to play in 2020. “The fact that they were able to pull it together with what’s going on with COVID.”

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The crowds roared and danced as Los Cheesies was back, among the bands playing in tents set up for music and food and hijinks.

“We want to make this the most memorable experience of their lives. Make it worth so they can know and say, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa where am I?’”

Outside, people slogged through the mud left by melting snow. The town of 1,500 added tens of thousands of people, all to remember Grandpa. Kind of.

“We’re here for it. We’re here for the carnage,” said Alicia Ziff, of the Princess Gearheads.

The team was one of 32 in the coffin race. In their coffin as Sarina Perret, a Nederland native and eight time coffin race participant.

“You don’t need two ACLs to ride in this thing,” she explained, having come through two recent knee surgeries.

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The team generally carried her without dumping her through and up and down course of small hills. Another team called themselves, “Putin on the Ritz.” They were a hit in the parade downtown that led off the day.

The festival originated in 2002 when the Chamber of Commerce was looking to create a springtime event to help merchants make it through the spring after ski season. Teresa Crush Warren pushed for the names.

“That’s what everybody knew Nederland as. The place with the frozen dead guy.”

Bredo Morstoel was a native of Norway, and after he died of natural causes, his body was brought to Nederland in 1993 by his grandson Trygve Bauge. He hoped of creating a cryonics facility on property he owned.

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But, Bauge ran into visa troubles and was deported. He still lives in Norway and pays to have dry ice put on his grandfather’s body in a shed on property the family still owns. The town “grandfathered in” Bredo after controversy over keeping the body reached local government and the idea was otherwise banned.

It would have been the festival’s 20th year, had it not been for COVID causing its cancellation in 2020 and 2021. Weekend crowds are expected to be in excess of 20,000.

PHOTO GALLERY: Frozen Dead Guy Days 2022

Alan Gionet