Riverside, Iowa

Future Birthplace of Captain Kirk Fooled by Shatner Hoax

Riverside, Iowa, self-proclaimed Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk, has been bamboozled by the actor William Shatner, who played the scene-chewing Star Trek character in the original TV series and films. In September, Shatner and a large crew started shooting a movie for Spike TV called "Invasion Iowa" in the small town, which hosts an annual Trekfest. The extensive filming in Riverside was actually for a reality TV show to air in 2005 -- about fooling a town into thinking it's the location for a major movie!

Riverside residents, and Iowans in general, were pissed when the hoax was finally revealed on Sept. 28. Shatner donated $100,000 to the town to make up for some of the humiliation.

Riverside had attempted for two decades to entice Shatner to attend the Trekfest, to no avail. That combined with the long standing trademark licensing issues around having a giant Kirk statue built left the town vulnerable to any crumb of attention from Shatner or his affiliated projects.

The executive director of "Invasion Iowa," Rhett Reese, wrote to the Iowa film board later, a sugar coated clarification of the intentions of the project, saying "The tone of the show will be light and goofy, and the participants from Riverside will come across as the warm, gracious, dignified people they are." (Thanks to Robot Greg for the tip.)

51 W. 1st St., Riverside, IA
US Hwy 218 exit 80. Drive west on Hwy 22/E. Hickory St. for 1.8 miles into town. The birthplace is on the right, behind the small hair salon building; you reach it through an alley. Look for the Captain Kirk banner on the light pole next to the street.
Free, donations appreciated.
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