DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa town that’s set to become the birthplace of Capt. James T. Kirk in the year 2228 is bringing in the Starship Enterprise – and an expected 8,000 Trekkies – for its annual gathering of all things “Star Trek.”

The 25th annual TrekFest in Riverside began celebrating the futuristic television and film series on Friday, and organizers expect a huge turnout of enthusiasts during the two-day event.

“I don’t know of any other festival on planet Earth that is predicated on an event that takes place in the future,” said Tim Geerlings, vice president of the Riverside Area Community Club, which helped organize the festival.

“Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry had designated Iowa as Kirk’s birthplace, so city officials asked if Riverside could claim Kirk – who according to Trek lore will be born 219 years from now – as one of its own. Roddenberry agreed and the city’s annual Trekfest was born.

This year’s event features a pet show to see whose animal best resembles Mr. Spock, the pointy-eared “Star Trek” character played most famously by Leonard Nimoy. There will also be a demolition derby, a scavenger hunt, a mini tractor pull and greased pig contest.

It also has an outdoor model of the Starship Enterprise on display.

But the highlight will be a parade featuring former cast members Walter Koenig, who played Mr. Chekov; Nichelle Nichols, the former Lt. Uhura; and George Takei, who portrayed Mr. Sulu.

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