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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Day Trippin': Little town offers big fun

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  • A little town in Iowa is home to the annual Trek Fest. Trekkies will converge on the town for the June 28-29 festival. The small town of Riverside, Iowa, is on the banks of the English River. In history-past it was a tavern for a regular stage coach stop. The town was officially founded in 1872. Today, it is recognized as the hometown of Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise. The Riverside Trek Fest includes the annual parade, Star Trek-themed pet shows, costume contests, Trek-themed games, and talent shows. Visit the "The Voyage Home" Museum and a few other Star Trek fun things to do.
    Riverside is self-proclaimed as the "The Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk." Actor William Shatner visited in 2004 while taping a reality show called Invasion Iowa. Shatner is well-remembered for his 1960s role in the Star Trek movies. The novel's opening chapter describes Kirk as a young teenager, playing with friends in fields and wetland along the English River.
    As the story goes, "Captain James T. Kirk was the commander of the Starfleet vessels USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-A and one of the chief defenders of the United Federation of Planets. During the maiden voyage of the Enterprise-B, Kirk was transported in time and space to whereabouts unknown via a cosmic phenomenon called the Nexus. He was presumed dead, but was in fact saved from the Nexus some seventy years later by Jean-Luc Picard. Together the two helped to save the planet Veridian III from the villain Tolian Soran, though Kirk died in the process. He is remembered as one of the greatest Starfleet captains to have ever lived."
    The trip from the lake area takes a few hours. The small town of Riverside is about ten minutes south of Iowa City. Travelers will want to explore parts of Iowa City and the Coralville areas while visiting the Riverside Trek Fest.
    A good idea would be to take the downtown walking tour that includes the 1872 state capitol building. Wander down the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk that highlights writers that include: Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, W.P. Kinsella and Tennesee Williams. Be sure to take along your camera and a Star Trek costume.

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