No matter when you’re fortunate enough to have time set aside in the name of vacation, a getaway to scenic Estes Park, Colorado is always worth your while. From downhill thrills in the winter when the fresh powder falls to wildlife watching, shopping, dining, and exploring mountain trails in the summer, Estes Park is brimming over with opportunities for adventure. If you happen to be a traveler that’s looking for something a little different and unique to add to your itinerary, Estes Park has that as well. A trip in this direction in the month of March will put you right on time to participate in the one-of-a-kind Frozen Dead Guy Days. Hosted in downtown Estes Park from March 17th through the 19th in 2023, this festival might sound scary, but it’s actually a winter heritage event that’s relocated from its original destination in Nederland. It’s free to attend and visitors will find the Frozen Dead Guy Days are in fact packed with rich history and opportunities to enjoy activities that are sure to be unforgettable.

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A Frozen History Leading to a Unique Festival Experience

The Frozen Dead Guy Days are both a fun weekend-long festival for participants as well as an homage to one Grandpa Bredo Morstoel who inspired the event. History has it that Morsteol passed away from a heart attack while cross-country skiing in Norway in 1989. Upon learning of his passing, his grandson placed the body on dry ice and had Morstoel transported back to the U.S. When Morstoel’s body arrived, it was stored in liquid nitrogen and his grandson moved the frozen accommodations to Nederland in 1993. Unfortunately, Morstoel’s grandson was eventually deported due to visa issues, but before he left the country, he passed on the responsibility of keeping his grandfather’s frozen remains to his sister Aud. To make the process easier, a shack was built in the back of her Nederland, Colorado house where the body could remain cryogenically frozen for the long term. When Aud was eventually evicted from the home for not paying for utilities, media attention was drawn to how her grandfather was being preserved in the backyard. The story led to laws being passed that made it illegal to store remains on a personal property, but Grandpa Bredo became the sole exception to the rule. In order to maintain his dignity, the team at Tuff Shed donated a storage unit to the family, and today, Delta Tech maintains the cryogenic hub by adding dry ice twice monthly.

Out of this unconventional story, the Frozen Dead Guy Days were born. It first kicked off in 2002 in Nederland as a way to remember Grandpa Bredo Morstoel. This weekend-long event was designed to honor Morstoel’s legacy while providing visitors with a variety of reasons to visit Nederland. For over 20 years, the festival continued to bring in the crowds in March and was eventually named a New York Times Top 10 Best Parties of Winter event too. At a certain point, the crowds simply became too much for the small town of Nederland to handle. That’s when the owner of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park stepped in and purchased the experience just months after its initial cancellation. In 2023 the event will be moved to Estes Park where it can continue to captivate the minds and imaginations of locals and visitors alike!

What to Expect While You’re Here

A few highlights of the Frozen Dead Guy Days are always the many parties, contests, and savory options available for guests to enjoy all weekend long. This event includes live music across two large tents that keep the atmosphere fun and vibrant no matter when you arrive. Those who think they are up to the task can try their best in the brain freeze contest during the festival. The agenda also showcases a frozen salmon toss and an ice break dancing experience that promises to be memorable. Dead guy tours are not to be missed when you drop by for this event, while ice turkey bowling is always a treat. Frozen t-shirt contests are included on the lineup of activities for Frozen Dead Guy Days as well as a polar plunge. Some of the more macabre events that are included in this experience span the parade of hearses as well as the coffin races.

Book Your Stay in Estes Park Today

Whether you’re in town for the Frozen Dead Guy Days in March, or heading to Estes Park any other time of year, having amazing accommodations in place can make all the difference in your stay. Reach out to the team at Mountain Village at Lake Estes today to learn more about our luxurious property options available the next time travel plans bring you in this direction. We’ll handle the details while you focus on the vacation fun ahead!