NASA Astronaut to Land in Riverside, Iowa for TrekFest XXVIII June 29-30

TrekFest is a small-town festival with a Star Trek theme. Riverside, Iowa is the official Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk - the character played by William Shatner in the original 1960's Star Trek television series.

Riverside, IA, June 23, 2012 --( Over the past few years, TrekFest beamed in actors from the popular 1960's Star Trek TV series as guests. This year TrekFest will make history by having a real-life NASA astronaut land in Riverside, Iowa (The Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk) to participate in festivities (June 29-30).

NASA Astronaut Kjell N. Lindgren (M.D) will engage in a Friday night Q & A at the Riverside Elementary School (8 pm to 9:30 pm) and he will Sky Watch with amateur astronomers outside the school (9:30 pm to 11 pm). Saturday Dr. Lindgren will ride in the TrekFest parade (10am) on a special NASA float and will later sign autographs (up to 300 of his astronaut photos) 12 to 2pm at Hall Park.

Dr. Lindgren is like a real-life Dr. McCoy (Star Trek's Chief Medical Officer on the Starship Enterprise) played by Deforest Kelly; and currently played by Karl Urban in J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movies. However, Dr. Lindgren is a real doctor, not a Hollywood actor. In June 2009, he was selected as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. He graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in ISS systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. Dr. Lindgren is bored certified in emergency medicine and aerospace medicine. Dr. Lindgren's education is even more extensive and impressive, but he's very much a family man and this makes him a perfect fit for TrekFest.

Riverside Troop 235 sends an open invitation to all area Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts from other troops to walk alongside Dr. Lindgren's NASA float during the parade in honor of his affiliation with the National Eagle Scout Association. Scouts are asked to show up around 9 am Saturday before the parade begins at 10 am.

Other events include the Demo Derby (Friday at 7:30 pm), free concerts will feature Friday: Dead Larry, Insectoid, and 5 Year Mission. Saturday: Tom and the Tribbles, Katie Faupel, Close Call band, and Filthy Sanchez. The extremely popular Costume Contest will take stage in Hall Park at 1 pm. Most activities are free and family-friendly. Fireworks show will end the event at 10pm.

TrekFest offers many more family-friendly events and most of them are free. For a complete list of events, visit the TrekFest website.


In 1984, former city councilman, Steve Miller, came up with the idea to dub Riverside, Iowa - The Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. This far out idea was approved by the city and by Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. The town's annual River Fest celebration was renamed TrekFest and has lived long and prospered ever since. The Riverside Area Community Club (RACC) plans and implements TrekFest annually. Money raised by RACC is used to help out the community and provide academic scholarships.
Carol Riggan