What: 12th annual Frozen Dead Guy Days
When: 3-8 p.m. Friday, March 8; 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 10
Friday: The Good the Bad and The Frozen Blue Ball, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Black Forest Restaurant, 24 Big Springs Drive. The 21-and-older event will feature the Ice Queen pageant, Grandpa Bredo look-alike contest and live music from Billy's Rock Billy and Gipsy Moon. Tickets are $12 online in advance. This year's ball has a Wild West theme. Frozen cowboys and cowgirls wanted.
Saturday: The Parade of Hearses will make its way down First Street beginning at noon. The Costume Polar Plunge will follow, 1-2 p.m. in Chipeta Park. Each plunge costs $20, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Nederland Food Pantry. Registration is available online. The Coffin Races will follow the plunge in Chipeta Park, starting at 2 p.m.. Teams of up to six will brave a muddy, snowy obstacle course as they haul a coffin with a "corpse" to the finish line.
Sunday: The Snowy Beach Volleyball speed tournament will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Chipeta Park. It will cost $20 per team on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Frozen T-shirt contest will be held beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Pioneer Inn, 15 E. First St. It costs $10 to enter and participants must sign a waiver.
Don your knit caps, long underwear and skull face-paint, Coffin Race fans: Frozen Dead Guy Days is here again.
Nederland's annual celebration of winter and the presence of the cryogenically frozen corpse of Grandpa Bredo Morstoel in a Tuff Shed above town runs Friday through Sunday, offering all sorts of unique entertainment and cold-weather fun.
Morstoel died from a heart condition in 1989, but thanks to monthly deliveries of dry ice, his body is being preserved in accordance with his wishes.
Amanda MacDonald, who bought the festival from the Nederland Area Chamber of Commerce in late 2011, this year is organizing the event for the fifth time. While marquee events such as the Coffin Races and the Parade of Hearses take place Saturday, and live music will be rocking local bars, restaurants and outdoor event tents all weekend, MacDonald said she has really tried to pump up the Sunday schedule this year.
"We have just really beefed up Sunday," she said. "We've added snowy beach volleyball on Sunday. That is fun to watch or participate in. The winning teams gets a helicopter tour from Colorado Heli-Ops."
Organizers have also extended icy turkey bowling and the Pioneer Inn's frozen T-shirt contests to two-day events this year; in the past, those events took place only on Saturday.
"I really like to watch the frozen T-shirt contest," MacDonald said. "It's almost kind of violent. It's just so funny to watch 20 people trying to get on a frozen T-shirt."
Helping organize the T-shirt contest this year is Teresa Crush-Warren, MacDonald's friend and the woman credited with coining the name Frozen Dead Guy Days when she served on the Nederland Chamber board a dozen years ago.
"We've added another element this year," Crush-Warren said of the T-shirt contest. "It's going to be a team competition."
Every member of each four-person team must put on a T-shirt -- which are kept on ice for 72 hours leading up to the competition -- and the team must go two rounds dancing the cancan to complete the challenge, Crush-Warren said. The team to do so the fastest wins a $100 gift certificate from the Pioneer Inn.
Crush-Warren said she is excited for this year's festival because her son is coming to visit from New York City with a bunch of friends, and her daughter will be bringing friends she has made during her freshman year at Colorado State University. They will ride with her in the Parade of Hearses as she serves as grand marshal.
"I'm looking forward to taking my kids and their friends to the Blue Ball," said Crush-Warren, referencing tonight's party that will feature the Ice Queen pageant and the Grandpa Bredo look-alike contest. "I'm looking forward to great costumes, and I expect them to have a blast."
High winds on Friday and Saturday put bit of a damper on the 2012 festival, raising structural concerns about a few of the large outdoor tents and forcing the rescheduling of some events. That's why MacDonald decided this year to move the festival from its traditional first weekend in March to this weekend.
"I moved it from this weekend, and it's beautiful out, and it's supposed to snow all next weekend, and it's like 'Oh, no' " MacDonald said Saturday. "I hope people come up -- and please car pool."
The forecast for this weekend is perfect, according to Nederland Mayor Joe Gierlach. Noting it's a winter festival, Gierlach said some of his best memories of Frozen Dead Guy Days past were when the snow was falling.
He said he enjoys a wide variety of the festival events, and loves that such a wide variety of Nederland businesses participate.
"I think everybody in Nederland realizes that up until Frozen Dead Guy Days it's still winter, but after Frozen Dead Guy Days we can get ready for summer," Gierlach said. "It sort of marks the wrap up of the winter season."
Asked which Frozen Dead Guy Days event is her favorite, MacDonald went with the costume polar plunge.
"That, to me, is the essence of the spirit of the whole thing," she said. "Ultimately, Frozen Dead Guy Days is kind of a big party. It's based on having some fun and kind of poking some fun at yourself."