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Professional Log Rolling Competition Coming to Northeast WI

Katie Burke near vs Ellie Davenport far Ballons backgorund Ellie on butt

KRICK, LLC is proud to partner with Paperfest and the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in bringing log rolling excitement to Kimberly, WI for the 16th Annual Three Rivers Roleo on Saturday, July 20.  The action will take place at Sunset Beach with amateurs facing off at 10am; professional competition beginning at 3pm.

Competing will be twenty-nine pro lumberjack athletes including the top three men’s and women’s finishers from the recent, US Log Rolling Open held in Gladstone, MI.  Among the names to watch will be former and current World Champion Log Rollers, Anthony Polentini, Tanner Hallett, and still undefeated this season, Livi Pappadopoulos.  But upsets happen, so spectators would be wise to take notice that primed and ready to shake things up is rookie, Marcus Heineck, fresh off a win in Gladstone. 

The sport of log rolling first emerged in the mid-19th century through lumberjacks working in the logging industry as a way of (sometimes) friendly competition between logging camps.  The northeastern region around the Wolf River was a major lumbering area in Wisconsin. Lumberjacks cut timber during the winter then hauled logs by sleigh to the riverbank.  Once spring melted river ice, logs were floated downstream to mill town communities such as Oshkosh. 

Today, lumberjack sports are kept alive primarily in former logging areas and remain popular among athletes of all ages.  Two such lumberjack athletes are siblings, Jacob Rick and Katie Rick Burke who each started log rolling at an early age.  Their involvement and enthusiasm—be it competing, coaching, tournament organizing & promoting, sometimes all at the same time—continues today. 

In 2008, the pair started the Three Rivers Roleo in their Mississippi River hometown of Onalaska.  Eventually, Jacob moved to the Fox Cities, then Katie relocated to Brown County.  It made sense that they would bring their popular and successful event with its accomplished competitors, along with them.  While Jacob retired from active competition several years ago, he remains a familiar voice, embracing the role of Master of Ceremonies, explaining to spectators, the rules and action taking place with each match.

Katie, on the other hand, not only continues to log roll, but was #1 seed in sister-sport, boom run until the birth of her second child.  Boom run is an event in which competitors run along the spine of a series of tethered together floating logs tied between two docks, then run back to the starting point.  The goal is to complete the task in the fastest time. While boom run will not be a part of this year’s Roleo, Katie is determined to keep striving for log rolling gold. 

The 16th Annual Three Rivers Roleo at Paperfest is free and open to the public and suitable for families, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts.  Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on, then settle in to pick a favorite and cheer them on! 

For further information or media request for 2024 Three Rivers Roleo, contact Katie Burke at [email protected] or 608.769.3583.