Youve been invited to Serb Fest at Turkey Run State Park this
Memorial Day Weekend
. Now what?
Run State Park is located in west/central Indiana, approximately
90 minutes east of Champaign, IL. The annual 40+ attendees range in
age from 3 months to 80 years. The weekend focuses on an enormous amount
of meat blazing about the grills of Turkey Run, the pleasure of good
company and conversation, and of course, recreation. Most activities
are usually situated around the grills and picnic tables adjacent to
the Parks tennis courts. The area allows for the group to spread
out with room for children to run and plenty of space for a competitive
and challenging game of Bocce Ball. A large covered shelter is also
adjacent to the site often occupied by the group late at night or when
rain forces the group under-roof. What allows for such a powerfully
joyful time is the respect and adherence to the Tenets of
Take a few moments to learn more about each Tenet
Turkey Run State Park is located at 8121 E Park Rd Marshall,
IN 47859. While weve had attendees fly in from coast
to coast to attend Turkey Run (TR), most make the drive from the
Chicago area traveling through Champaign, IL (via I-57) before
heading east (via I-74) to cross the border into Indiana. The
home stretch of the drive on Route 41 (exit from I-74) is the
most scenic portion of the drive. The winding, hilly road takes
you past the once popular local flea market, frequently attended
by First Generation attendees. You also cross over Sugar Creek
at the home base for Turkey Run Canoe Trips (the once
preferred rental company for our Sunday canoe/kayak trip - a switch
was made to a local competitor in 2006 due to the competitors
favorable alcohol policy). A sharp turn brings you by Jungle Park
Flea Market a great representation of the local lifestyle
and flavor. Youll soon come to the intersection of Route
41 and Route 47 for the final turn before reaching the State Park!
A left hand turn brings you by the now defunct Cherokee Village
Campground, origin of the famed Indian Head Dresses that get passed
around each year. Several attendees have camped there, but on
rare occasion most notably, Scott Berger, in his first
trip to Turkey Run in 1997 and the group in August 2001 at Turkey
Run Observed. Finally, you pass Sugar Valley Canoe Trips
and Dairy Bar and Turkey Run Jr/Sr High School, made famous in
2004s Fire & Ice Extravaganza Documentary
of TR 2003.
The entrance to Turkey Run State Park will be on your left AFTER
the entrance for the Turkey Run Campground. From suburban Chicago,
the drive is approximately 3 ½ - 4 hours or roughly the
same amount of time it takes to watch Back to the Future &
Top Gun back to back (a tradition for several Second Generation
attendees in the late 1990s/early 2000s).
Fees to enter the park are $5 per vehicle for Indiana residents
and $7 for non-residents. Your receipt will get you in and out
for the day, or for most, your Turkey Run Inn room key will get
you free re-entrance for the duration of your stay.
Save the following TR Arrival Guide to your phone prior to arrival.
Please note: CELL SIGNAL IS WEAK at the park. Verizon has typically
been a bit better than AT&T, but no carrier is completely
reliable. The arrival guide will allow you to find our group as
you enter the park. Particularly after dark, it can be a challenge
to navigate if you don't know where you're going! We advise you
to locate the group before attempting to check in to the Inn.
Turkey Run Inn, a historic lodge on the premises of the Park is
where we call home for the weekend. Youll either stay in
the main building more or less a traditional hotel, or
in one of the cabins adjacent to the Inn. Each cabin building
contains 4 rooms with two double beds and a bathroom. These rooms
are slightly more rustic than those found in the Inn, Each of
the rooms have a private entrance. Rooms can be adjoined upon
request in pairs by shared doors between them. For your first
year, it is likely that you will be inheriting a room previously
reserved by another attendee. In general, rooms are reserved at
TR Inn 2 years in advance. At some point, we hope you enjoy yourselves
enough to want to commit to ongoing attendance. In any event,
should you reserve 2 years in advance and are unable to attend,
you have until 4 days prior to check-in to cancel for a full refund
of your (1 night stay) deposit.
Run Inn includes a Game Room for kids, an indoor Swimming Pool,
and a Restaurant. Most of the group enjoy breakfast at the restaurant
Sunday morning prior to the canoe/kayak trip, though some stop
in other mornings for a cup of coffee or quick breakfast. All
other meals are enjoyed off the grill at one of Turkey Runs
many picnic/grill sites. The preferred grill site is a short walk
from the Inn across a field and is located adjacent to tennis
courts and a large covered shelter. In the event that this grill
site is claimed early in the morning before someone in our group
is able to do so, a nearby alternate site is chosen.
While we all consider one another family at Serb Fest, it is important
to understand the origin from which attendees have come and the
circle with which we are primarily associated. Every new attendee
will fall into one of these Families/Groups depending on from
whom youve received your invitation.
While those originating from the Zelenkovich Family do not have
the oldest ties to Serb Fest, they certainly represent the biggest
network of friends and families in attendance today. Led by Second
Generation attendee, Jovan Zelenkovich, son of 1985 first time
attendees Predrag & Mila Zelenkovich, his friends and their
families represent well over half of Serb Fests attendees.
This group is responsible for much of the identity that Serb Fest
has today including many of its more recent traditions.
Turkey Run Online also started in 2003 representing Serb Fest
solely from their perspective. The website since then has attempted
to become inclusive of all attendees equally, but significant
evidence does remain of the original perspective (i.e. the Overview
pages from 1996-2004, the TR High Council and the TR Code of Ethics).
Girls (The Stevanovic Family)
This group is represented by Monica Stevanovic, daughter of Hall
of Famers, Miomir and Zofia Stevanovic, who have been in attendance
since the mid-1980s. Monica has consistently had a small
group of friends and their guests join her almost every year since
the early 1990s.
Dating back to TR 1981, the Boskovics are responsible for
quite a few past and present Serb Fest attendees. Hall of Famers,
Cika Bora & Teta Cica have attended Serb Fest along with their
children Dan, Katherine and Caroline consistently for over 30
years! Today Dan attends with a family of his own who often extend
invitations to other extended family and friends of theirs to
experience the Spirit of Turkey Run.
Cika Daca, Teta Lela Danilovic and their daughter Aleksandra have
been in attendance since 1979, longer than any other active Serb
Fest attendees! While they have not often introduced new guests
to Serb Fest in recent years, their attendance certainly has great
influence on the pending attendance of other active First Generation,
Hall of Fame attendees. Today they travel together in the Danilovic
Family conversion van and are considered beloved fixtures at Serb
Many attendees arrive sometime between the hours of 5pm and 11pm
on Friday night of Memorial Day Weekend. The evenings activities
focus on the grill and the first batch of cevapcici to come off
of it. Time is spent getting to know new attendees, eating and
drinking more or less simply settling in to Turkey Run.
Saturday morning includes breakfast off the grill and relaxing
in the morning sun. Youre welcome to also enjoy any of the
other activities/amenities of the Park. These amenities include
Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Playgrounds, Pony Rides, Hay Rides,
Nature Center, Swimming and the many Historic Sites on Park grounds.
Visit http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com for more information.
remaining attendees who were unable to come Friday will arrive
Saturday in the late morning/early afternoon hours. At some point
in the late afternoon, after most have arrived, someone will initiate
a group hike that will be preceded by a traditional group wifebeater
photo of the Second Generation guys. Following the hike, continued
eating and drinking ensues. Many will enjoy lawn games and interaction
with some of the First Generation Hall
of Famers who are hopefully in attendance.
as previously mentioned, starts with a (recommended) 9am breakfast
at the Lodge. Interested attendees then depart for the canoe/kayak
trip around 10:15am after reorganizing coolers and purchasing
fresh ice from a nearby gas station. The 3 ½ mile trip
leaves Sugar Valley around 11am. Please consult with
the person or family from whom youve received your invite
in regards to canoe/kayak rentals and reservations. Ultimately,
rental fees are approximately $10/person for the trip. For those
not making the trip, usually as a result of having to take care
of children too small to sit in a canoe, Sangria Sunday
was initiated in 2010, to help lift their spirits. Following the
trip, eating, drinking, etc once again ensues for the remainder
of the day. A 6pm group photo is attempted. Please make every
attempt to be at the grill site prior to this time to be included
in the photo. The group photo is quickly becoming tradition and
one of the great legacies created by Serb Fest attendees each
some wake up Monday morning and squeeze in one last rendezvous
with the grill (particularly those who arrived Saturday), most
are exhausted and ready to begin the sad trek home. Most can be
found repacking their cars and saying goodbyes in the parking
lot. With that, the weekend concludes and while enjoying the newly
created memories, anticipation begins mounting for the following
years Memorial Day Weekend!
As far as food, drink and supplies are concerned, we have developed
a system of shared responsibility for certain items while leaving
attendees plenty of room to tailor the menu to their liking. Count
on all food prep/storage/waste items to be available for communal
use. Certain menu items, most notably, the Serbian cuisine will
also be provided for communal consumption. Burgers & Hotdogs
(as well as BBQ Pulled Pork on Sunday) are typically available
for communal consumption as well. Chicken, Brats, other Sausages,
and side dishes/snacks/desserts - we advise you to bring on your
own. Of course, we always encourage bring a bit extra to share.
We typically ask every adult to bring at least one case of cheap
beer - Again, more is always encouraged. You are free to bring
whatever else youd like.
Approximately 2 weeks prior to the weekend, a shopping list is
distributed by Scott Berger, the events chief organizer.
This list includes delegation of responsibility for the communal
food/drink/supplies as well as a list of other recommended items
to serve as a guide for your shopping. In the event that you are
flying to attend your first Serb Fest, arrangements may be made
with other attendees to provide all your food & drink in the
event that shopping and packing your own cooler is a hardship.
addition to food, pack clothing and personal affects as you deem
necessary. Keep in mind youll want to pack clothes and shoes
appropriate for hiking. You'll likely get wet and muddy. Youll
want to pack some sort of aquatic shoes or sandals for the kayak
trip. Bug spray and sun block are recommended. The night air often
gets chilly. Keep an eye on the weather report or the daily updates
from the TR Online and Facebook and be sure to pack jeans and
a jacket. Anything else to keep you, your significant other, and/or
you kids entertained Bring it! Remember, if you have any
questions in regards to what may or may not be appropriate, please
dont hesitate to ask! 630-209-1503 (text)
THOUGHT TO LEAVE YOU WITH...
On the surface, its hard to see Serb Fest as much more than
a glorified, weekend-long barbeque. But considering
the great History, Tradition and Spirit of Serb Fest, its
easy to argue that the weekend is so much more! Its greater than
a sizzling grill, or a cold beer. Its greater than any one attendee.
Its greater than a State Park in the middle of Indiana. Its
an annual cross-generational gathering of great friends and family.
Its a celebration of a culture that many of us have no real
ties to, but somehow adopt as our own for one weekend a year.
Its a respect and appreciation for those that started this
great tradition over 40 years ago! Its an opportunity to
share something special with our children and have them carry
on later in their lives. Its more than a barbecue. Its
(zjee-ve-lee) Cheers/Lets live long!
Cika (chee-kah) Translates to an informal Mr. in English
precedes ones first name (Cika Bora)
Teta (teh-tah) Translates to an informal Ms. In English
precedes ones first name (Teta Lela)
Cevapcici (che-vahp-chee-chee) A Serbian meat mixture
of lamb & beef served at Serb Fest
Pljeskavica (pee-yes-cah-veet-za) A patty made from cevapcici
with diced jalepeno and onion a Serbian hamburger
Ajyvar (eye-var) A Serbian roasted red pepper spread
Kajmak (khi-mock) Best described as a hybrid of Serbian
butter & cream cheese
Slivovitz (schleev-o-veetz) Plum Brandy - National drink
of Serbia (also known as Holy Water)
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