See full gallery of photos at the bottom for the full experience. Photos by Andrew Wyatt
Prepare yourself, grab your mittens, coat and something to smoke on because I journeyed to a small Colorado town in the bitter frozen cold to experience the weirdest, kookiest, wildest, deadest- yet most entertaining festival this Cannabis queen has been to in years.
Let’s get you caught up! Once upon a time there was this guy from Norway Bredo Morstøl that died and his grandson Trygve Bauge had him cryogenically frozen. Grampa Bredo (as he is affectionately called in town) died in 1989, his body was frozen on dry ice for the journey from Norway to a facility in San Leandro, Ca. where his body would be frozen with liquid nitrogen from 1990-1993. In 1993 the body had to be moved and was transported again with dry ice to a tiny mountain town in Colorado called Nederland. Bredo’s grandson, Trygve and Bredo’s daughter, Aud kept his body frozen on their own property on dry ice. Then Trygve was deported for overstaying his visa. Aud stayed in Nederland in a home with no running water or electricity and was about to be evicted for ordinance violations and that is when the old man was let out of the bag so to speak. Aud admitted that her dead father’s body was frozen on dry ice in the shed in the back of the property. The story stirred up such an interest and sensation that the town decided to change their municipal code to ensure that no one could store a whole or part of any living being on any property, but not before they “grandfathered” Bredo as an exception to the law.
The frozen dead guy sensation eventually lead to the creation of the Frozen Dead Guy Days. The festival of epically frozen experiences is now in its 17th year and has evolved into a legendary event that has to be witnessed in person. This year’s festival was organized by Amanda MacDonald and Kallista Alli, our hosts on this frozen adventure. FDGD is supported by a great group of sponsors, vendors, not to mention an entire town that allows this madness to go down.
Our host arranged to have my partner and I picked up at the airport, which turned out to be a beautiful black stretched limo by Premium Rides out of Colorado Springs. As if that wasn’t enough she arranged more ahead of our arrival, our fabulous driver Andrew hands me three tubes inside each were two dank pre-rolled cones ready to be set ablaze. Finally, someone who appreciates our Cannapolitan ways! The divider between us and the driver allows us to legally smoke these beauties while delivering us into this frozen world called Nederland, Colorado.
Nederland is a tiny town, there is only one real lodge and it has 24 rooms, The Boulder Creek Lodge is quaint with that log cabin kind of vibe. The deck in the back was accommodating for smoking joints and taking in the sights of the entire town and a partially frozen reservoir is nestled right up alongside the town. The average population of the town on any given day is around 1,500. For three days in March when FDGD happens, over 20,000+ will descend upon the town to experience the frozen flurry or fury depending on if your face hits the wind.
We got into town just in time for the parade of hearses and the coffin race teams were headed down to the frozen mud obstacle course for the competition and yes you read that right, coffin races! If ever there was a place to let your freak flag fly (so long you don’t mind it freezing) this could be the place to do it. This is definitely the kind of festival that lends the opportunity for great Cannabis edibles and joints on hand at all times, it’s too much watching this whole thing go down without some enhancement. The FDGD tents are not only a must as a way to get somewhat warm, but they are where all the music and small business vendors are, not to mention the bar. The festival has a beer, bourbon, and bacon fetish.
The line-up of artists and bands were also just as eclectic as the festival’s activities. The festival was full of musical talent with nearly 30 performers/ bands throughout the weekend. Saturday and Sunday had three different tents going on at the same time spread throughout town (short walk) with artists lined up to perform in each one. Bands with names like: Gasoline Lollipops (folk with punk vibe), Whiskey Blanket (Hip Hop with horns and strings), and Strange Americans (the name says it all)- you know it’s going to be a fun yet interesting experience. All of the performers had something unique they brought to the show, one in particular that stood out for me was a lyricist and word master that goes by the name, Gift of Gab from the hip hop duo, Blackalicious. His set was on fire from beginning to end and he kept taunting the crowd asking if they wanted more lyrics and words and he kept them in a frenzy. His performance was worth the price of admission for me. His lyrics and how quick and clear he spit them out was impressive. As a music fan, I was actually a bit ashamed of myself that I didn’t know about this talented performer as well as others that performed that weekend.
The whole weekend was full of music and shenanigans in the freezing cold, but it is a must see and experience to be had. Especially when you have these events and contests to keep you entertained: costumed polar plunge, frozen t-shirt contest, brain freeze contest, ice carving competition, snowy human foosball, and of course the coffin races have to be top of my list of hysterical and must-see things to do while in Nederland, Colorado at Frozen Dead Guy Days. I am no longer a FDGD virgin and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to witness and discover the kookiest, most inventive, unabashedly shameless, festival experience I’ve yet to live through. There is absolutely nothing like it watching everyday people get weird on a frozen mountain; dress up in costumes, jump into frosty waters or run through a frozen wet mess carrying a buddy in a coffin through obstacles! When asked if I would do it again, yes please!