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Rural Matters

May 31, 2019

Michelle chats with Liz Carey, podcaster and freelance writer for Daily Yonder; Amanda MacDonald, festival co-ordinator for Frozen Dead Guys Days in Nederland, CO; and Kristopher Larsen, mayor of Nederland. Frozen Dead Guy Days started with a celebration of the cryogenic disposition of a local citizen and the running of hearse races almost two decades ago. It has now expanded to a wide assortment of exciting events, including a frozen T-shirt contest, and an attendance of between 20,000 and 25,000 for the weekend, according to MacDonald. The event is really at capacity at this point, notes MacDonald, who purchased the event from the local chamber of commerce. There are plusses and minuses of this event and other similar events, such as Synchronis Butterflies Day, according to Carey, who has written an outstanding piece on rural tourism for Daily Yonder. There is a definite economic boom for the town, which charges the festival for additional police and support and derives a benefit in terms of tourists spending money during the weekend and who also visit the town at other times because, well, it is the home of Frozen Dead Guy Days. But the festival is also taxing for the local police department and presents logistical concerns for both attendees and local residents, including backups on the highways.  Carey notes that the festival is extremely well organized, with specific instructions on how to best enjoy the festival.  Larsen notes that the event takes almost a year to plan, with challenges for the town of only 1,500 people, and includes outreach to citizens and local and state police and the fire and sheriff’s departments to ensure the safety and enjoyment of visitors. The event, which takes place in the second week of March, does offer opportunities for local businesses, explains Larsen. According to an informal survey he has taken, there is a doubling or tripling of their business during Frozen Dead Guy Days, compared to an immediate prior or post-event weekend. Finally, he notes, the event has produced a definite international notoriety, including from, you guessed it, the Netherlands. This episode was sponsored by Talem Health, and 3RNet,