Lumberjack Mile & 5K Returns September 10

United Way of 1000 Lakes announces the return of the Lumberjack Mile & 5K on Saturday, September 10th, 2022. The event will add to the festivities of the weekend, which includes the second Grand Rapids Riverfest, a downtown music festival featuring Wilco, Chastity Brown, Shovels & Rope, and local favorite Wild Horses.

The Lumberjack Mile & 5K, now in its sixth year, is a lumberjack-themed fun run and one-mile walk that benefits United Way of 1000 Lakes. Kicking off at the KAXE Radio Amphitheatre in downtown Grand Rapids, the course takes participants on a scenic route alongside the Mississippi River, giving runners and walkers the chance to view several public art pieces along the way. Race participants are encouraged to “wear their Lumberjack best,” with many traditionally donning flannel and fake beards. United Way recognizes the best-dressed lumberjacks with an award following the race, as well as recognizing top finishers in the mile and 5K divisions. Participants may also opt to register virtually and complete the run or walk on their own time, giving those who care about the Itasca area all over the world the chance to channel their flannel in support of the community they care about.

“We’re excited to welcome back our supporters for another fun run,” said Kimberly Brink Smith, United Way’s Executive Director. “The Lumberjack Mile & 5K is one of the events that allows us to continue making an impact in the lives of people throughout the northland.”

Race entry ranges from $30-$40 for adults and $20 – $30 for children, with earlybird rates available through August 13th. The race packet, guaranteed to early registrants, includes a limited-edition, collectible T-shirt designed by Jenny Farber of Chaotic Beauty Artistry (a Grand Rapids-based artist) and a ticket for a drink from Klockow Brewing Company, who will be on-site serving beverages to runners and spectators alongside other area vendors. New this year is a dog division, which allows runners to bring their canine companions along them on their walk or run. For a $10 fee, participating dogs will receive their own 4-legged swag bag.  

For more information on the race and to register, visit or contact United Way at 218-999-7570.

Proceeds from the event will support United Way’s work in the greater Itasca area, including their community investment grant program, which annually provides support to 20 small- and mid-sized agencies that help families and individuals meet their basic needs, achieve financial stability and independence, reach educational goals, and live healthy lives.

Lumberjack Mile & 5K: At a Glance
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
KAXE Amphitheatre (260 NE 2nd St, Grand Rapids)
Race Fee Structure
Earlybird Rate (available through August 13th): $30 Adult (age 13+), $20 Child (age 6-12)
Regular Rate (available through September 9th): $35 Adult, $25 Child
Same–day Registration (September 10th): $40 Adult, $30 Child
“Lumberdog” add-on: $10

About United Way of 1000 Lakes
United Way of 1000 Lakes is a leader in mobilizing the resources of individuals, companies, and government and local organizations to ignite community collaboration in support of the building blocks for a good quality of life: success in school; financial stability; access to care; and healthy lifestyle choices. United Way invites everyone to join the movement.

About Grand Rapids Riverfest
Held for the first time in 2021, Grand Rapids Riverfest features a lineup of musicians in the heart of Grand Rapids’ downtown. In 2022, headliner Wilco is joined by Shovels & Rope, Chastity Brown, and Grand Rapids–based Wild Horses. To learn more, visit