Gull Lake anglers enjoy free coffee and doughnuts on the water

Welcome Wannigan is an over 60-year Nisswa Chamber tradition

Welcome Wanigan May 2023 Amber Hidde.JPG
Miss Nisswa Amber Hidde, wearing her crown atop a Carhartt hat and sash over a warm coat, uses a megaphone to ask Gull Lake anglers if they wanted complimentary coffee and doughnuts, courtesy of the Nisswa Chamber, during the Saturday morning, May 13, 2023, fishing opener.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

NISSWA — "What a service — doughnuts and coffee on the water. I think that's pretty cool."

A Gull Lake angler uttered those words Saturday morning, May 13, and they sum up a 64-year Nisswa Chamber of Commerce tradition.

Welcome Wannigan May 2023 group.JPG
From left, those aboard the Nisswa Chamber's Welcome Wannigan on Saturday morning, May 13, 2023, were Miss Nisswa Amber Hidde, Little Miss Nisswa Jocelyn Deschaine, Kathy Reichenbach with the chamber, Lee Seipp, Nisswa Chamber President Pam Dorion, Nisswa Chamber Executive Assistant Kalie Jay, and Jay Chaney, owner of Boats and Beyond Rentals.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

A pontoon piloted by Jay Chaney, owner of Boats and Beyond Rentals in Nisswa, had just pulled up to the angler so Miss Nisswa Amber Hidde and Little Miss Nisswa Jocelyn Deschaine could hand over a free cup of coffee and a doughnut to the fisherman.

The Welcome Wannigan made its annual voyage across Gull Lake for the walleye and northern pike fishing opener. The morning was cloudy and a bit windy, but rain-free until nearly the last doughnut was handed out to anglers on the Bar Harbor docks.

Welcome Wanigan May 2023 Coffee.JPG
Miss Nisswa Amber Hidde and Little Miss Nisswa Jocelyn Deschaine hand coffee and doughnuts to anglers while Lee Seipp helps keep the boats apart Saturday, May 13, 2023, on Gull Lake.
Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Schaefer's Foods supplied the doughnuts and Stonehouse Coffee provided hot coffee.


Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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