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"Abe Lincoln" and his wife initiate a Memorial Day weekend trip to Turkey Run State Park to enjoy good food, drink and conversation among close friends  
     
     
     

Earliest confirmed attendance of the Boskovic Family  
     
     
     

The Zelenkovich Family makes their first trip to Turkey Run. Young Jovan spends the weekend in Yugo  

The Zelenkovich Family returns and Jovan makes his first trip to Turkey Run  
     
     

"THE LOST YEAR" Serb Fest 1989 takes place at an alternate location - Devils Lake due to lack of lodging at Turkey Run Inn.  
 
Rooms at TR Inn are now reserved the maximum 2 years in advance each year  
     
     
     

Emma Loyfman makes her first confirmed trip to Turkey Run as a friend of Monica Stevanovic  


Jovan sets a personal precident of inviting a friend to TR. Jeff Bott makes his first trip to Turkey Run. This follows the precident set by Serb Fest's original Founders of inviting friends to share in the festivities of Memorial Day Weekend at Turkey Run.  
     
     

Jovan recruits two high school buddies to attend TR.  

Jovan recruits college roommate, Scott Berger to come to Turkey Run for Memorial Day Weekend.  
  Scott & Jovan recruit OLAF to join them at Turkey Run  
  "Abe Lincoln" & his wife make their final trip to TR due to medical reasons.  
  Jeff Bott makes his final trip to TR  
A new attendee nearly dies 3 times  
  Upon arrival Saturday morning, the group took an impromtu photo sporting their fresh "wife beaters" prior to the annual hike.  
  Jeff Heitzman makes his first trip to Turkey Run  
  The term "TR" is coined to represent Turkey Run in a similar vein as "WT" represents White Trash. (OLAF is given unofficial credit for the term in 2010)  

Brian Kelley makes his first trip to Turkey Run  

Scott Berger puts together a skeleton crew of CR & Krangis to join him at TR 01 as the rest of the guys backpack in Europe. This earns Scott "Founding Member" status.  
  The Indian Head Dress is introduced by Crazy Dan.  
  The phrase "You eat, or you're out" is coined by Mr. Z.  
  TR 01 Observed takes place in August as a "make-up" Turkey Run for those who missed on Memorial Day Weekend.  
  Bocce Ball is introduced at TR 01 Observed and is wildly popular  
     
Official Turkey Run Cooler is purchased  
  The torch is officially passed to the next generation!  
  Fire & Ice Extravaganza DVD is filmed  
  Chuckles(sorry) & Rishi Loona make their TR debut  
  The "OLAF Pose" was captured on camera during the hike which eventually was to become one of TR's signature logos  
  TR Online goes live in June 2003  

Fire & Ice Extravaganza documentary is released featuring TR 2003  
  Cika Bora, Teta Cica, Cika Daca, & Teta Lela return to Serb Fest giving everyone renewed hope that Serb Fest will go on!  
  Dan F makes a highly anticipated return to TR  
  Chuckles(sorry) & Rishi Loona make their TR debut  
  Vince Kus makes his first and only trip to TR and is awarded the very first "Intellectual of the Year Award"  
  Bratwursts are boiled in beer before grilling for the first time ending a long streak of burned brats at TR.  
Indian Head Dress v2 debuts  

The guys finally make the shift to arrive on Friday evening - commonplace for many attendees in previous years.  
  Fire & Ice Extravaganza :: Special Edition DVD is released including a recap of TR 2004 plus Bonus Footage and Commentary  
  The Serbian Flag makes its debut at TR  
  Julie Walton (Berger) makes her first trip to TR despite skeptism among some of the guys of the group's ability to handle having a "significant other" at TR. Necessary growing pains that allows for TR's ongoing evolution.  
  "Serb Fest" is officially adopted as the perminant name of the weekend's festivities regardless of whether or not the older generation is in attendance  

"The Chinaman isn't the issue!"  

Serb Fest celebrates 30 years!  
  Dual departure points for the guys. The first split departure for the group.  
  Bags were initiated as a new team activity to be played while holding a Solo cup.  
  The "Golden Cevapcici Award" is presented to Scott Berger  

Shopping responsibilities among the guys were delegated outside of Scott & Jovan for the first time. The two had been solely responsible for the shopping since 2003  
  BBQ Pulled Pork and Jimmy Dean w/ Potatoes were added to the core TR menu  
  The "Intellectual of the Year Award" was renamed in honor of it's inaugural recipient, Vince Kus  
  "Serb Fest Collection - Volume I" is released. Audio downloads become available on TR Online.  
  Serb Fest hits Wikipedia  
  Sadly, in June, beloved Serb Fest legend and Hall of Famer, Cika Bora passes away  

The "Golden Cevapcici Award" is presented to Charlie Ruiz  
  OLAF's son Jack becomes the first male attendee of the new generation  
  Predrag & Mila Zelenkovich attend Serb Fest for the first time since 2006  

Friday evening visit from a TR Ranger reveals that our group is in fact well known and the staff are fans of this website!  
  Shopping responsibilities for the 2nd Generation have been completely delegated amongst the group eliminating "debt settlement" at the end of the weekend. Transition Complete!  

Friday night is spent in a shelter off the trail to the Suspension Bridge. Deemed a success and to become standard practice for future Friday nights!  
  The Group forgoes both the Annual Hike & Beer Float due to weather, age and parenting responsiblities (a true sign of the times)  
  The "Golden Cevapcici Award" is presented to Jeff Heitzman  

Jovan Zelenkovich makes his final trip to Turkey Run. He passes away in October 2012 and continues to be missed dearly. His spirit and genuine love for Serb Fest is celebrated each and every year.  
Heavy filming for future Serb Fest documentary release  

Teta Cica makes her final trip to TR before what is hopefully just a brief "hiatus"  
  NO HIKE - Suspension bridge is closed due to Spring flood damage  
  Infamous demerit is lifted from Nutz's record after 11 years  
  Ich accepts invitation to TR after 10+ years  
  The "Golden Cevapcici Award" is presented to Krangis  

Teta Lela and Cika Daca makes their final trip to TR before what is hopefully just a brief "hiatus"  

Beer Float makes a return to regular rotation after much of the group takes a hiatus due to parental responsibilities.  
  The "Golden Cevapcici Award" is presented to Rishi Loona  

OLAF introduces "Beersbee" frisbee game  

Serb Fest celebrates it's 40th anniversary!  
       
       
       
         
         
         
         

 

 

The great history and tradition of gathering at Turkey Run State Park for Memorial Day Weekend dates back to the mid-1970's. For nearly two decades as many as 20 families of Serbian decent gathered for the annual barbeque. At it's inception, the weekend was more-so simply an annual gathering of family and friends than a celebration of Serbian culture and cuisine. Details of the birth of what is today known as "Serb Fest" are sketchy. As far back as 1977, a Serbian gentleman (known affectionately by today's attendees as "Abe Lincoln" for the resemblance of his facial hair to that of the Sixteenth President of the United States) and his wife gathered with a close group of Serbian friends at Turkey Run State Park to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. The number of attendees in these early years is unconfirmed, but as the legend grew, so did the group. The weekend was an invitation only event as it remains today. Families would reach out and invite close family friends. By 1981, the Boskovic Family had become regulars and by the mid-1980s, it is believed that as many as 20 families might have gathered 'round the grills of Turkey Run (TR).

In 1985, Predrag & Mila Zelenkovich made their first trip to TR, who at the time, were without their young son Jovan who was spending the summer in Serbia with his Grandmother. The following year, six year old Jovan set foot on the soils of Turkey Run State Park for the very first time, not knowing that this was to be a life changing event for Jovan and was a pivotal event in the endurance of Serb Fest into the 21st Century.

In 1993, Monica Stevanovic, daughter of Miomir and Zofia Stevanovic, who also happens to also be Jovan’s oldest friend, invited Emma Loyfman, a close friend of hers to TR. This is believed to be the first time one of the "kids" had brought a friend, let alone, a friend of non-Serbian decent. Emma seemingly had a great time and not only did she return in 1994, but has been a regular attendee since. That year Jovan followed suit and also invited a friend, Jeff Bott. Legend has it that Jovan had sold the idea to his parents in that his parents had recently purchased a conversion van and with the additional space, they not only could accommodate transporting Bott to TR, but the two boys could actually sleep in the back of the van. (They soon found this to be a horrible idea and would end up sleeping on cotts in his parents' room). These events would set the stage for the evolution of Serb Fest into the 21st Century, driven by a new generation of attendees.

By 1997, Jovan had invited a couple additional friends from his High School swim team. In an "alternate universe", Scott Berger was making his first "unofficial" trip to Turkey Run State Park with a group of friends from High School. A year later, Scott & Jovan would meet at college and as Spring, 1998 approached, Jovan made mention his plans to go to Turkey Run State Park for Memorial Day Weekend. Scott immediately showed great enthusiasm and interest given his familiarity with the location. It seemed natural that Jovan invite Scott to join him and his family. The two also recruited OLAF, who at the time was known as Erik and along with then veteran attendee, Jeff Bott, they piled into the back of the Zelenkovich van for the drive to Turkey Run. The scene was officially set for the next generation.

As TR 1999 approached, Jovan and Jeff Bott lost touch and new attendees Jeff Heitzman and Dan F. were added to the line-up. This proved to be yet another pivotal year in Serb Fest history where so many of the second generation's traditions were born. To these new attendees, the trip was nothing more than a weekend getaway with their buddy John. There just so happened to be a bunch of old Serbians hanging around as well. As naive as they were, it wouldn't be long for them to take notice of the great Spirit that surrounded them at Serb Fest. In the meantime, this new generation, full of energy, & sporting wife beaters, began associating Turkey Run not only with Serbian culture, but with "White Trash America". Being in the heart of Central Indiana meant a lot of questionable folk.... the kind of folk that "city kids" from Chicago weren't used to seeing. As an homage to White Trash America, commonly referred to as "WT", Turkey Run would similarly become known as "TR". This also led to an affinity for drinking ultra cheap beer and infrequent showering (though by the end of the next decade, the men took up showering regularly – mostly to appease their significant others).

In 2001, with most of the guys from the new generation opting to take a post college graduation trip to Europe, which was to unfortunately overlap with Memorial Day Weekend, it was left to Scott Berger, the lone attendee not making this trans-Atlantic trip, to make the decision as to whether or not he would carry the torch and make his 3rd straight trip to Serb Fest. Scott pulled together his brother Krangis and an old friend from high school, Brian Crissie, went to DSD Delicatessen to pick up an order of cevapcici, and made the trip, not knowing what to expect upon arrival. While somewhat awkward at first, the small group joined the older generation for a Saturday night meal under the Shelter. It was during this meal that Predrag Zelenkovich spoke the historic words "You eat, or you're out!" to the new attendees of the group. This was also the meal during which the original Indian Head Dress made its debut. The guys made an abbreviated trip to TR that August as a "make-up" for all who were unable to attend in May. Unknowingly, this trip was almost a warm-up and precursor to what the group would be faced with in 2003 - being responsible for full coordination and execution of the weekend's festivities.

2002 saw TR's one and only "demerit", issued to Jeff Heitzman as a result of "forgetting about Turkey Run" and planning a trip to Wyoming with a significant other. This is an important event, not because Nutz has been unable to live this down since its occurance, but because it set a precident for the rest of the group. The expectation was set - at least for the core group of attendees - "Memorial Day Weekend. Clear it for LIFE." The message has since been largely embraced with very few absences from the core group. Perhaps this may one day be taken into consideration as grounds to reverse the demerit. Perhaps in my head I may make a recommendation for reversal based on a decision of a close friend of Nutz's on whether or not he chooses to "skip out" on Turkey Run in 2010. May this be the true test of the strength and impact of the message on the group.

As TR 2003 approached, the young generation had been taking notes from their predecessors and upon learning that none of the "parents" would be attending in 2003, they immediately felt charged with a great responsibility to uphold the tradition of Serb Fest in their absence. Furthermore, they learned that Monica and her friends would also not be in attendance. The stakes were raised as it would now solely be left to the young men of the next generation to "pick up the machette and continue blazing the trail" as Jovan so eloquently put it at the time. Not knowing what the future was to hold, the group conceded to the notion that the days of sharing Memorial Day Weekend with the elder generation were over. In an effort to distinguish their generation from their parents’, the men proclaimed the weekend’s festivities to be a weekend of “Fire & Ice”. For a period of 2 years, the Serb Fest title was retired and the weekend was known as the “Fire & Ice Extravaganza”. Accompanying this transition was the unveiling of Turkey Run Online, the inception of the Turkey Run Hall of Fame to honor those who were responsible for handing off the torch to the new generation, and the release of a DVD Documentary capturing the events of TR 2003 while also touching on some of the history and what brought this new group of attendees together.

Fortunately, the following year, several of the Serbs made a come-back, as did the girls, which has been sustained through the present day. TR 2005 was dubbed “Serb Fest Reunion” with the expectation that each of the Hall of Fame inductees would be in attendance. Unfortunately, this didn’t exactly materialize, but Serb Fest was indeed reborn! The men of the second generation made a vow to uphold Serb Fest for all time regardless of who was in attendance. Turkey Run was to not only forever to be a celebration of White Trash America, but more importantly, a celebration of Serbian culture and cuisine.

While a commitment was made to uphold the Spirit of Turkey Run, growing pains still loomed on the horizon. While Serb Fest had always been a family friendly event, some argued that Turkey Run was somewhat of a "guys weekend". After difficult conversation ensued, Scott Berger took a bold step in inviting his girlfriend (and eventual wife-to-be), Julie Walton to TR. Evolution of this magnitude was understandably met with controversy, but it was a move that set the stage for the majority of the young men to eventually bring girlfriends, fiancés, and wives of their own to Turkey Run in years to come.

By 2008, OLAF had became the first of the young men to bring a child, his daughter Sara to TR. In 2009, OLAF’s newborn son Jack attended and with that, the third generation was introduced to Serb Fest! It's no surprise that generations have embraced this great tradition for many of the same reasons their forefathers have. While we are all uncertain as to how many more years we will have privilege of sharing Memorial Day weekend with its founding generation, we all must remember that "the elders have shown us the way... we must pick up the machete and continue blazing the trail”.

While much of this timeline focuses on the evolution of Jovan and his non-Serbian male friends and their families, it is essential to note the involvement of other highly respected and important regular attendees of the second generation. Dan Boskovic, the oldest of the second generation attendees and son of Bora and Cica Boskovic, is affectionately known as “Crazy Dan” and has been attending TR since as early as 1981. Today he is as synonymous with Serb Fest as anything or anyone and is a lock for the TR Hall of Fame. He attends with is Wife Deborah and his 2 daughters, Danica and Ivana. Danica held the record for being the youngest attendee on record, at just 3 months, until Jack L attended at the tender age of 2 months.

Aleksandra Danilovic is the daughter of Hall of Famers, Daca & Lela Danilovic. Her attendance can be traced back to the mid-late 1980’s but very well may be earlier than that. She too is an expected attendee year after year despite her sometimes late confirmation. She brings with her an infectious spirit for Serb Fest!

Countless others have come and gone – each leaving a distinct mark on Serb Fest history. The guest list will continue to grow and evolve. The people are the most important ingredient to any Serb Fest and as long as you’re surrounded by good friends and good people, Serb Fest will never fail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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