The small Colorado town of Nederland, about 18 miles west of Boulder, has a unique claim to fame. Nederland is home to Grandpa Bredo, also known as the Frozen Dead Guy.
The story of Grandpa Bredo is a twisted tale of cryonics, eviction, deportation and general non-conformity spanning 26 years. The saga begins when Bredo died in his native Norway in 1989. Bredo’s grandson, Trygve, a proponent of cryonics, had Grandpa’s body frozen in the hope that medical advances would facilitate resuscitation in the future. Over time, Trygve, his mother, Aud, and frozen Grandpa Bredo all emigrated from Norway to America, where they eventually settled in Nederland, Colorado.
In addition to his fascination with cryonics, Trygve was an avid survivalist. In Nederland, he and his mother began construction a bunker-like abode capable of withstanding all manner of calamity, including earthquakes, fire, bombs, hurricanes and floods. Grandpa Bredo, packed in dry ice, was placed in a Tuff Shed behind the house.
Never one to follow rules, Trygve overstayed his visa and was deported back to Norway in 1994. He left behind his frozen grandpa in the Tuff Shed, and his mother in an unfinished house, without the benefit of electricity and plumbing. When Nederland authorities got wind of the substandard living conditions, Aud was served an eviction notice. In the process, city officials discovered an even bigger problem: Grandpa Bredo, the frozen dead guy, stored on ice in the Tuff Shed.
Aud was evicted and eventually deported, but Nederland authorities were left with a quandary. There was no municipal ordinance prohibiting the storage of a frozen dead guy within the city limits. Nederland promptly passed such a law, but Grandpa Bredo was ‘grandfathered’. So for twenty years, Grandpa Bredo has remained in his Tuff Shed in Nederland. At great expense, Trygve has paid caretakers to keep Grandpa Bredo frozen in dry ice and look after the property.
As time passed, the town of Nederland gained notoriety as the home of Grandpa Bredo, the Frozen Dead Guy. Nederland’s residents came to embrace the town’s eccentric celebrity, and the tradition of Frozen Dead Guy Days was born. Since 2002, the town has hosted a festival in honor of Grandpa Bredo, featuring funky and frosty events, including a Blue Ball, a parade of hearses, coffin races, polar plunges, a frozen salmon toss, iced turkey bowling, and a frozen T-shirt contest. Live music, liberal craft beer consumption and outlandish costumes keep the scene lively. Frozen Dead Guy Days is weird, wacky, and wildly entertaining.
Whether or not Grandpa Bredo is ever restored to life as we know it, he has already achieved a kind of immortality. He lives on in the frigid, freaky, frivolous fun of Frozen Dead Guy Days.
Frozen Dead Guy Days: When You Go
Accommodations and parking are limited in diminutive Nederland. Boulder makes a good base of operation and public transportation to Nederland is available. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the Frozen Dead Guy Days events. For additional information, visit the Frozen Dead Guy Days website.
Limited visitations of Grandpa Bredo’s Tuff Shed are permitted, subject to prior arrangement. Contact Global Gallop for information about how to pay your personal respects to the Frozen Dead Guy.