Colorfully dressed participants carry a homemade coffin

Get weird this Saint Patrick’s Day weekend and head to Estes Park, Colorado for Frozen Dead Guy Days. A family-friendly weekend of frozen fun and a red-hot lineup of musical acts, it promises to be a great time!

Held in Estes Park after spending nearly two decades in Nederland, Colorado, the festivities occur in mid-March. With a series of lighthearted albeit morbidly themed activities held across four days, there’s fun for all age groups. Before we look at this year’s schedule and lineup, let’s explore the saga until now.

Bringing the Dead Into Ned

Frozen Dead Guy Days boasts one of the nation’s most unique names and origin stories for a festival. In the early 1990s, Norwegian Trygve Bauge transported his recently departed grandfather to the United States.

Packed in dry ice for the trip, Bredo Morstoel spent several years in a California cryogenics facility. He eventually wound up in Nederland under the care of his daughter Aud. She kept him lovingly stored in a shack behind her house. Hopeful of thawing him one day, when science and medicine have advanced to where cloning is a reality, she still continues to preserve him.

The town of Nederland discovered their unapproved, non-living resident and convicted Aud of housing code violations in 1995. In the wake of the events, the township adopted a new section of the legal code. The statute addresses the ‘keeping of bodies’ and outlawed such actions.

The story garnered significant media attention, and ol’ Bredo was “grandfathered in” as an exception. Fast forward to 2002, and the inaugural Frozen Dead Guy Days occurred and was held yearly through 2019. The COVID pandemic and related shutdowns halted the festival just a few days before its 18th annual celebration. It remained on ice for two years, and the future was uncertain.

Couple dressed in formal zombie attire

A New Life for Grandpa Bredo

After the hiatus, Frozen Dead Guy Days resumed in Nederland in 2022, with crowds reaching the 20,000+ range. Things seemed to be returning to life for the brand, but 2023 again signaled the end.

The festival’s overwhelming popularity and unsustainable growth led promoters and the township to reach an impasse. The gala was doomed once again.

Estes Park and the Stanley Hotel stepped in to revive the event and preserve its legacy. Frozen Dead Guy Days thrived in its first year at the new location.

It wasn’t just the jovial jamboree that found a new home in Estes Park. After spending much of his afterlife on dry ice in a Tuff shed overlooking Nederland, Bredo Morstoel took up a new residence in 2023. The famous cryogenic citizen of Colorado made a move to Estes Park as well. He received an upgrade to liquid nitrogen storage and upgraded digs. He now resides in the newly built cryonics museum on the grounds of the Stanley Hotel.

Newly built Cryonics Museum at The Stanley Hotel is the new home for the original Frozen Dead Guy, Bredo Morstoel

Coffin Races, Concerts and Cool Treats

The lineup of bands slated to play Frozen Dead Guy Days is once again phenomenal. But there’s more than just the music to enjoy. The weekend starts early on Thursday, March 14th. There’s a Zombie Bar Crawl with drink specials and decorations — dress up is encouraged. Thursday also hosts the Frozen Ball Drop at local libation stop The Barrel.

Friday marks the start of the musical activities and more family-oriented fare. Things begin with the free Icebreaker Kick-Off event at Bond Park. The event includes a special beer tapping of “Bredo’s Brew.” It also features live music from A-Mac & The Height as well as The Living Room Band.

There will also be a Frozen Sweets Stroll, a new event for kids of all ages. It offers access to delicious frozen and dead-themed goodies. Patrons pick up a punch card granting access to various specialty shops. They will have tasty treats like skull-shaped ice cream cookies and freeze-dried candy.

Friday also marks the start of some super scary fun. Get your psychic reading in the haunted Historic Park Theatre, and see what your future holds! The otherworldly analyses are available through Sunday.

Friday’s Frozen Festivities

Friday night, the party continues, with various entertainment options available. Attendees can catch the Weekend At Bernie’s Beach Party at 6:00 PM at the Bull Pin. The free event runs until close and features a screening of the hilarious movie. That dead guy even serves as a backdrop for a Bernie Bowling Contest. Alternately, catch the Brain Freeze Live Music night at Lonigans. Local blues rockers Black Canyon Back Beat will perform before a chilling round of karaoke with host Rigo Mortis.

Friday also features a frozen fan favorite, the Royal Blue Ball. The event is held at the Stanley Hotel and offers fans a spooktacular opportunity to take in the hotel. The occasion features a Grandpa Bredo and Ice Queen lookalike contest, so make your decor creepy!

Special musical guests will provide the jilted jams for the night. Funky rhythms will be pumped out by headliners Here Come The Mummies, who always dress for an undead party! Evanoff will set the stage for the evening’s festivities with their jamtronica sounds. Fans can purchase tickets for the Blue Ball alone if desired. They can also take advantage of options that include Saturday’s main event and expedited entry.

Band playing onstage in front of a crowd

Slay Your Saturday

Whether you make a weekend affair of Frozen Dead Guy Days or only make the Saturday main event, you’re in for a scarily good time. Attendees can look forward to local and national musical talent performing across three stages.

With that many artists, it’s too much musical talent to see everything you should! Held at the Estes Park Events Complex, the primary festival includes all-day activities. Always a fan favorite, the infamous coffin races are included in the daytime undertakings. Colorfully dressed teams construct and race through an outdoor obstacle course with one teammate tucked inside the coffin.

The main musical happenings occur from noon until around 8:00 PM. The bands play across three stages, so plan your schedule accordingly to catch your favorite acts. An outdoor stage will host Float Like A Buffalo, Future Joy, Los Mochochetes, and Lucid Vision. At the Fire Stage, catch smokin’-hot acts Living Room Band, Chain Station, The Jauntee, The Sweet Lillies, and Deadphish Orchestra.

The stage also features recently announced headliner Andy Frasco & The U.N., and cool vibes will keep the crowd dancing at the Ice Stage. The stone-cold spectacular lineup includes openers Gary Hall & The Occupants, then a series of Colorado favorites. Eminence Ensemble, A-Mac & The Height, and Spafford rock the stage throughout the day. Headliners Yonder Mountain String Band will close out the Ice Stage in style.

The music schedule for Frozen Dead Guy Days

If you’re ready to turn up the heat after a daytime of fun, Saturday night has just what you need. Check out Thick N’ Thawed, a Burrr…lesque Show at Lonigans for the steamy after-party! If you want a more traditional Irish affair, check out the free Dead Leprechaun St. Paddy Party at the Bull Pin.

Sunday Funday Festivities

After the main event, get your recovery on! Sunday offers a variety of options to get yourself back on track. Find your therapy — from the hair of the dog to freezing your follicles. Get started with a Bands & Bloodys Brunch, with live music and dining specials at restaurants around town. If you want to test your limits of chillness, dive into the depths of cold with a Polar Plunge.

If you’re still ready to get lively, check out the St. Paddy’s Day Beer Mile(ish). It kicks off at Avante Garde Aleworks. You can walk, run or cartwheel around town with a tasty libation stop in between.

No matter how long you’re visiting, time is running out to get your tickets and book your stay. You can also view a Frozen Dead Guy Days Documentary to get in the mood. Or, maybe catch The Shining if you’re trying to get some extra-creepy inspiration for the weekend.

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