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The man behind the famous Sil's Mini Donuts at Summerfest

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 18:26:18-04

MILWAUKEE — Sil's Mini Donuts have been a staple at Summerfest for more than a decade. You can also find them at every single festival at Henry Maier Festival Park over the summer and Wisconsin Badger football, basketball, and hockey games. And it all started, with a simple idea while at Summerfest decades ago.

"You know, I went to college at (Milwaukee School of Engineering) way back when, and I went to Summerfest sitting in the amphitheater, probably listening to the Bodeans, probably having a few too many cocktails, and said why aren’t there mini donuts here," Lars Wicklund, who goes by the title of The Donut Guy, said.

Sil's Mini Donuts
Sil's Mini Donuts have been a staple of Summerfest for over a decade.

From that moment on, history was made - in a small powdered donut form.

"I failed out of school, bought a donut machine, and off we went."

He's one of the more popular vendors at Summerfest. He has three stands that sell donuts, coffee, and even smoothies which is new for 2022.

Sil's Mini Donuts
Lar Wicklund outside his donut stand on the north end of the Summerfest grounds.

"To be at Summerfest in the vendor world, you really have to be the best at what you do. All these vendors here were all the best at what we do," he said.

His donuts are simple yet delicious. They come out hot and you can either have them plain, with cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, or a mix of the two.

"You gotta be good at something, so I guess its donuts." he said.

Donuts in the fryer
Sil's Mini Donuts in the fryer

There is no sign of him slowing down either. Partly because the COVID-related shutdowns were tough on business. But he also just loves the job.

"As long as the body will hold out, you know."

From Summerfest fan to Summerfest vendor, The Donut Guy has turned his passion into a successful career.

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