10 Wacky Small Town Festivals


Frozen Dead Guy Days

When Grandpa Bredo passed away in 1989, he was a parks-and-recreation director in Norway who suffered from heart problems. Four years later, he was the "frozen dead guy" living in a backyard shed in Nederland, Colo.

Bredo's family was into cryonics, and from the time of his death he was stored in a cryonics facility in California. In 1993, though, his daughter and grandson decided to care for him themselves, at their home in Nederland. Word soon got out that a local family was keeping a frozen Grandpa in the yard, and the artsy, off-beat mountain town loved it.

A couple of decades later, Grandpa Bredo is still there -- but his family isn't. They ended up heading back to Norway but left Grandpa in the shed, under the care of the Ice Man, a hired hand who refreshes the dry-ice supply once a month to keep him safely frozen. It's a good thing he stayed, since he's the center of a funny little tradition that has grown into a huge, annual celebration that marks the final days of harsh winter.

The party known as "Frozen Dead Guy Days" takes place over a weekend in March, and it's quite the wacky destination. People come from near and far to take part in the death-and-winter-themed festivities, including coffin races, frozen-T-shirt contests, ice-turkey bowling, brain-freeze contests and the frozen-salmon toss. There's live music, lots of beer and, of course, tours of Grandpa Bredo's shed, where the old man rests in suspended animation, waiting to rise again and greet his fans.

The Chicago Tribune ranked Frozen Dead Guy Days among the best 100 festivals in the United States.

Next, food fight!