Events results
2005 — Frozen Dead Guy Days ®

Thank you to all participants, good show by all finishers,
and hearty congratulations to all the winners!

Barbara Lawlor
The Mountain-Ear
Nederland, Colorado

    Revelers from all over the world were winners last weekend at the Fourth Annual Frozen Dead Guy Festival in Nederland.

    An ice-encrusted Belgian won the Look-a-like Contest, pink-tu-tued Manitous won the Coffin Cup, locals oozing good Karma had the fastest time and all of the frivolity was recorded by journalists from almost everywhere.

    On Saturday, a record crowd of about 7,000 people swarmed over downtown Nederland for the parade, flowed to the fishing pond for the Polar Plunge and then packed the hillside above Chipeta Park for the coffin races.

    Sunshine and balmy temperatures blessed the colorful Saturday events and a winter storm turned Sunday into a black and white frozen world, just a reminder of what the weekend was all about - fun and ice.

    Official events began Friday night with the lighting of the dry ice torch at Grandpa Bredo Morstoel’s Tuff Shed in Big Springs. Local Neder-Nederland director Wendy Seeman grabbed the smoking chunk of dry ice and headed into the dark, cold night, winding her way downhill towards town. The torch was passed twice more until finally Dr. Mark Sanazaro ran the last leg to the roundabout in Nederland.

    Waiting for him were dancing skeletons, Bredo’s daughter Aud Mostoel, Mayor Chris Perret, and a crowd of eager spectators. Nederland’s personal always-there announcer Dave Felkley welcomed the ceremonial torch and then the Port-a-Potties as they careened around the circle honking their horn, and shouted, “Let the festivities begin.”

    Aud and the mayor cut the ribbon, the skeletons wiggled, the crowd cheered and the festivities began.

    One of the spectators Jason Sharp from Columbus, Ohio said he works for a public utility company that pays bills and received a bill from the town of Nederland last year. When he saw it was for a Frozen Dead Guy Festival in Nederland, he booked a flight. “I said next year we are going there, and here we are.”

Grandpa’s Blue Ball and Ice Queen and Look-a-like Contest

    Hundreds of people sardined into the Black Forest Restaurant Friday night, many of them stunning in their icy royalty or ghoulish in their frozen demise. Aud watched the party-goers arrive and seemed bemused at the fuss over her cryonically frozen father.

    “I know we did the right thing with my father, and it’s all right to have fun with these things. I think the coffin races are right - Trygve had obstacles to keep his grandfather here and I think the scientists have obstacles to get to the goal of having people live longer, the races are a symbol of the obstacles.”

    Time Magazine writer Lisa Cullen came to Nederland as part of her research for a preservation section in a book of forms of death. As she watched corpses pass by she said, “Americans are re-inventing the rites and rituals surrounding death.” “I am looking at the irreverence with which we treat death.”

    Costumed cavorters, 16 in all, lined up for the judging, but it was a hands-down contest for the candidate from Belgium, who is the celebrity chosen for The Best Belgian television series to be aired in the fall. Herbert Flack had a make-up crew who knew how to do ice. Icicles dripped from his cheeks, his ears and the tip of his turning-blue nose. He even exhaled snowflakes. Herbert’s iciness beat out local Ray Rovey’s grasp on first place from last year’s contest. He won $100 and gifts from Ace Hardware.

    A be-furred, high-booted vision in white, Hillary Stevenson from the Sundance Restaurant was named the Ice Queen and she accepted the award with a flip of her boa and a call to ‘party.’ Runaway Truck Ramp got the crowd jumping, with Ed Kaner fiddling folks to a frenzy.

    After the dance ended in the wee, small hours, some die-hards took to working on ice sculptures in the big top of First Street. However cute or creative the other sculptures were, sculptor Karen Adler’s LochNed mermaid was the first-place winner in the ice sculpting contest, an amazing combination of grace and ingenuity. “She’s here to keep Bredo company,” says Karen.

Parade, Polar Plunge, Coffin Races

    Saturday’s activities began with the Cryogenic Parade. Thousands of people lined First Street. With the sunshine and the crowd, it was like the Fourth of July, with so many coffins and hearses and children’s groups and fire equipment that the parade only went around once, a first for Nederland.

    The Nederland Fire Protection District firefighters cut a square hole in the nine-inch thick ice of the kids fishing pond in Chipeta Park and laid out the traditional green carpet and the plunging commenced.

    Betty Bluehair, aka Loralyn Sayah, created a metaphor to benefit the Nederland Area Seniors. She poignantly shed her wheelchair, her walker and then her over-the-hill clothes. She cartwheeled and stood on her hands and then clad in her traditional bikini leaped into the ice water. She won first place and a matching prize for the seniors of our town.

    Miner Tom Hendricks dragged a lit fuse to the water’s edge but went in without the dynamite. Belgian Herbert Flack with much flair and flaunting gazed up at Big Springs and yelled, “Hey, Bredo, I came all the way from Belgium to make the ice jump,” and in he went, greeted with congratulations and a warm towel when he got out.

    A dozen people participated in the Polar Plunge for a dozen different reasons, all of them cold and wet.

    The coffin race course was mostly dry, with one mound at the beginning and then a snow-packed trail over the Tuff Shed bordered with straw bales. Slippery makes for great crashes. The crowd perched on the hillside. Among them, three cheeseheads from Wisconsin whooped and hollered their appreciation.

    Sherry Wittemann, Laura Kruschka and Sandy Bohmann of Shorewest Realtors in Waukesha, Wisconsin said they learned about the FDG festival on the CBS Sunday morning show and immediately booked tickets to come to Nederland.

    “We wanted to meet 1,300 people who know how to have fun. We got the last room at the Sundance. It was worth the trip - we are having so much fun.”

    The coffin race teams ran a preliminary heat and then the top four teams competed in the semi-finals and then the championships. It came down to Good Karma from Nederland, the Space Cadavers, the Manitou-tus and the Mountain People’s Co-op. The Cadavers edged out the Co-op, running an efficient, controlled but quick race. Good Karma cruised past the Manitou Springs guys in an aura of well-being. Manitou won the Coffin Cup in their round against Over the Rainbow.

    The ultimate champions were the Good Karma team, whose members won the $300 first prize and said they were merely spreading the Karma all around. “This was for Eva,” one of them shouted. Team members included Jeff Van Lent, Sam Van Lent, Jeff Figgs, Scott Loukes and Paul Baracani.

    The Space Cadavers won the prize for the Best Coffin and third place. The Best Team Costume went to the Manitou-tus as well as second place. The Denver Hearse Association won second prize for the Best Team Spirit.

Rib Eating, Brain Freeze, Pizza Toss, Rocky Mountain Oyster Eating and Salmon Toss.

    On Saturday, the Pink Flamingo Rib-eating contest attracted a standing room only crowd, as contestants plowed into four pounds of barbecue sauce slathered short ribs. Although Ima Hog, the female rib eater hung in there, Guthrie was the winner, Peter Riehl of Lone Tree, second and T. C. Miller of Nederland was third.

    Sam Harvanek, 13, of Boulder was last year’s Brain Freeze co-winner, chugging down green slushy liquid about as fast as it came up. He was bested by his brother Zach who smiled between gulps and managed to keep his Izzy in his body. The Acoustic Coffeehouse crowd moaned and groaned in head-hurting sympathy throughout the contest.

    In spite of over a foot and a half of snow overnight, the contests continued into Sunday. At Neapolitan’s, Paul Lembeck of Longmont expertly tossed three pizza doughs into Bredo’s mouth and won a real pizza a month for a year. He said his expertise comes from skipping stones in creeks. Sixty-five pies were frisbee’ed through the air.

    Up at the Sundance, Zackary Cleveland of Fort Collins threw the headless 12-pound salmon a winning 49 feet, using the discus throw technique. People were addicted to the sport, continuing to toss the fish all day long.

    At the First Street Pub and Grill the first annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Eating Contest was won by T. C. Miller who must have packed on the pounds over the weekend. He ate 14 and a half of the crispy critters and said he was finally full. “It was fun. You don’t get this kind of fun every weekend.”

    At the end of the afternoon, FDGD and Chamber of Commerce organizers met at the roundabout and slurped organic popsicles and said goodbye to the Belgians, the Norwegians and each other.

    Teresa Warren of the NACC says, “We appreciate our 175 volunteers who made everything run so smoothly. Everyone had a good time and Nederland is now on the radar for the place to have fun.”

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