The Annual Highland Zest Fest


Brittany Rabatine and lakecentralnews

The Highland Zest Fest brings in both volunteers and hired workers to run the games and rides for everyone else, but it’s not every one’s cup of tea.

“I enjoy seeing the little kids smile when they get prizes, but I don’t really enjoy working here. It’s just not a real job and it’s only when they need me,” Nicole Kekelik (11) said.

Kekelik has been working the fair since she was 15, along with her cousin Kelly Haney, who has been working the fair for 15 years.

“It’s my uncle’s business. I’ve worked with him and put myself through college doing this,” Haney said.

For many, the fair provides a great business opportunity. Debby and Paul Swinson make jewelry and charms from real insects and travel around Indiana, Illinois and down south during the winter.

Though many vendors were there representing either themselves or their business, the business for the fair itself had been slower.

“A lot of people are just hurting financially, the heat did a lot too,” said Dawn Winchell, bean bag vendor.

But not everyone was stopped by the heat. Children, teens, parents, and grandparents all showed up to enjoy the day.