Nederland welcomes guests, contestants, and snow
by Dave Gibson
With Boulder Canyon closed due to accidents and a foot of snow falling, Frozen Dead Guy Days was postponed until Sunday for the second year in a row. I saw a lone hearse driver heading north out of Nederland, having given up on his undertaker friends. No motorized hearses appeared in Saturday’s 2013 parade but realtor Jimmy Keith and his horse-drawn hearse came through, keeping the tradition alive.
Even if the Coffin Races and Polar Plunge had to wait a day, the Pioneer Inn was the place to be Saturday night where the Frozen T-shirt Contest was being held. The shirts were frozen rock solid and it took fifteen minutes to pry them apart enough to wear. The only way to make any headway at first was to warm the T-shirt against your body – or better yet between two bodies! This went on into the night as courage waxed and inhibitions waned. Such a good time was had that they decided to do it again the next day!
To escape the crowds at the marquee Frozen Dead Guy Days events, one of my favorite choices has always been the Salmon Toss contest held at the Sundance Café just south of town. Last year’s champion Keith Fachin was on hand to defend his title, but faced “stiff” competition from upstart ex-Pioneer Inn bartender Ed Tarleton this year. Tarleton has traded in slinging drinks for slinging frozen fish and proved he is as good a “salmon-tosser” as he was bartender. Ed took first place with a hurl of 57 feet, 0 inches. If the flying fish had flown a few feet farther (try saying that 10 times fast), it would have cleared the fence and slid down the hill – in theory shattering the all-time record of 69 feet, 0 inches.
When a group a women traveled from Oklahoma to visit a friend on her birthday and decided to enter the Coffin Races, they didn’t have any particular aspirations of winning – just to participate and have some fun. With their name, The Frigid Beavers, displayed proudly and prominently on their chests, the backs of their uniforms posed the question: “Got Wood?” Although the champion Pink Sock Team “socked” it to the field for the fourth year “running,” The Frigid Beavers warmed up when they were awarded first prize for best costume! The Jamaican Bobsled Team and Fraggle Rock came in second and third respectively in a rush to the frosty finish line.