Floating hot dog cart cruises Lake Vermilion

We all have dreams. A hot dog cart was Ward Danielson’s.

“Read an article in Reader’s Digest probably about 1999 about a guy in New York City that was making hot dogs. He was just working the lunch rush, and he made like $100,000 a year,” he said. “And I was like, oh my God, I’d love to sell hot dogs.”

He finally built his hot dog cart for the 25th anniversary of his barber shop business in Silver Bay. They took it to the parade and gave away hot dogs.

After that, he got a grant from Lovin’ Lake County that allowed him to build a commercial-grade top for the cart.Then he just needed a place to sell.

“The hot dog cart kind of went to the water because we’re up here boating every weekend,” Danielson said, gesturing around at Lake Vermilion. “There’s a big party cove up on the north end of the lake. And I’m like, man, you could sell a lot of hot dogs right here.”

He’s been saying that for “probably 12 years.” But this summer, he and his wife Vicki really made it happen.

The Lake Vermilion Weiner Cruiser took its maiden voyage on fishing opener. It cruises the lake at about 7 miles per hour, anchoring in place when they serve. Boats pull right up to the side of the raft, tie off, and place their orders.

“We get all our hot dogs from Zup’s. They’re made custom for us in the Babbitt store,” Ward said.

“Ward’s the guy that usually grabs the boat and visits with everybody, and I do all the work,” Vicki joked.

She can often be seen wearing a hot dog costume when they take the Weiner Cruiser out every other Saturday.

You can track the Lake Vermilion Weiner Cruiser on Facebook.