Wife Carrying

Florida Championship Wife Carrying Contest!
March 3, 2019, Bryant Park, Lake Worth, Florida.

The 2018 Florida Championship winners were Taisto Miettinen from Finland and Mia Shaugnessy from Florida. They won a trip to Finland to represent Florida in the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland! The silver went to John Lund and Paris Deesing from California. The bronze went to Sean Leflock and Laura Canteri from Boynton Beach, Florida.


Winners of the Wife Carrying World Championships 2017 in Sonkajärvi, Finland.
  1. Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen, Finland
  2. Mischa Freystaetter and Rie Takano, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA !
  3. Ilpo Haalisto and Jenni Piippo, Finland

The 2017 Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland.

At Sonkajärvi 2017

Mischa and Rie won Silver!

Mischa and Rie arriving in Sonkajärvi and preparing for the World Championships!
(Note that Mischa is eating but Rie is not!)

Mischa and Rie vigorously practicing on their way over the Alps to Sonkajärvi, Finland!

Mischa and Rie Freystaetter, preparing to represent Florida in the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland!

Lightweight Wives for Rent!

Team members are not required to be legally married.
Check at the Midnight Sun Festival Info Tent to find a lightweight “wife” for rent!
(Note: Wives under 108 lbs. will be given sandbags to carry to bring their weight up to 108 lbs.)




The length of the course is approx. 280 yards. The course contains two “log” obstacles and a “widow maker” water hazard.

There is no restriction on how the Wife is carried. If a Husband drops his Wife, the Husband must pick up his Wife before attempting to advance down the course. A water obstacle is a required part of Wife Carrying Competitions. It may look like the competitors are just having fun, but wait until you see them live and in action – these teams are GOOD!

Teams run the course two Teams per Heat, with each Team being timed. The four overall fastest Teams qualify for the Medal Round. Since entry into the Medal Round is determined by the four overall fastest times, Teams do not have to win their initial Heat to qualify for the Medal Round, nor does winning your initial Heat guarantee entry into the Medal Round.


To enter click here:

        Wife Carrying Contest 2018 Entry Form

Send the completed Entry Form to:

Midnight Sun Festival, Inc.
P.O. Box 907
Lake Worth, Florida 33460


Sunday, March 3, 2019   1:00 pm

Bryant Park, Lake Worth, Florida.


The winning team will receive a one-week trip to Finland to represent Florida in the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland.

The 2nd and 3rd place teams will receive Medals and consolation prizes.




Wife Carrying originated in Finland during the 1800’s. The first modern Wife Carrying Competition was held in Finland in 1992.

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According to the legend, in the 1800’s, amidst the dense green forests and clear blue lakes in Finland, a number of men hid in the early evening shadows outside a small village, ready to obey their leader’s command. Through the tree branches the men could see the beautiful daughter of the mayor, walking calmly in the town. The leader of the men was a well-known rogue called Ronkainen, who had decided to take the girl back to his own village as his wife.

Handsome, long-haired Ronkainen was head over heels in love with the mayor’s daughter, and she with him, but her father refused to give his consent. The two lovers jointly decided that the only way they could be together was if her disappearance were to be staged. The plan was that Ronkainen would kidnap the girl on his shoulders, run hard, ford a fast-moving stream, and disappear into the darkening night.

This story was also apparently on NBC’s Katie Couric’s mind at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. When the Finnish team entered the stadium, Couric talked about Finland’s long history of Wife Carrying competitions, and reminded her viewing audience that the Wife Carrying World Championships will be coming up again next summer.

The tradition started by Ronkainen also continues on March 4, 2018, at the Midnight Sun Festival in Lake Worth, Florida. Couples competing in the Florida Championship Wife Carrying Contest will have a chance to represent Florida at the World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland, June, 2018.

In case you would like to compete, but do not have a wife – no matter. The rules do not require couples to be legally married. The festival organizers will even be putting up a sign at the Midnight Sun Festival Information Tent which says, “Lightweight Wives for Rent!”

North American Wife Carrying Competitions

Thirteen states and two Canadian provinces presently hold Wife Carrying Contests. The North American Wife Carrying Championships are held every October at the Sunday River Resort in Maine.

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Dave Castro/Lacey Castro                        Rocco Andreozzi/Kim Wasco            Taisto Miettinen/Kristina Haapanen

Click the link below for more information about the North American Wife Carrying Competitions:


Wife Carrying World Championships

The Wife Carrying World Championships are held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland at the end of June.


Contestants from other countries have participated since 1995.

Top competitors in the North American Wife Carrying Championship have placed fourth in the World Championships 2017 in Finland while Florida’s Micha and Rie Freystaeter took silver! Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen (Kelly video) of Finland took the gold!


Helpful Links

How to Wife Carry

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries regarding the Florida Championship Wife Carrying Contest, including photos and video of other events, contact: