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Why You Should Volunteer at the World Food & Music Festival

WFMF Volunteer

July 13, 2023

Sally Corcoran has volunteered with the World Food & Music Festival since before the pandemic. Along with volunteering for other Downtown Des Moines (DSM) events — she’s helped with the Des Moines Arts Festival, DSM Book Festival and Holiday Promenade — the World Food & Music Festival is one of Corcoran’s favorites, allowing her to get to know other countries, their cultures and try new foods without the travel.

Volunteer Experience

Corcoran’s grandmother was always helping others, so she grew up with a love of volunteering. The World Food & Music Festival volunteer opportunity came about through a discussion with Greater Des Moines Partnership staff members. Corcoran works as a volunteer coordinator now, assisting other volunteers, including students, many of whom are foreign exchange students who end up sharing about their own home countries — and sometimes even sharing their own unique recipes!

During her first experience volunteering at the World Food & Music Festival, Corcoran didn’t feel apprehensive at all due to the organization of the event. Potential Festival volunteers will enjoy the opportunity to give back, meet new people and learn new things, while getting to work with Partnership staff members who are amazing at what they do. After this volunteer experience, it’s easy to find something to keep you coming back — from cooking demos to cultural activities. Corcoran offers a few tips for potential volunteers as well: Wear comfortable shoes and layers of clothing for changes in weather. Relax, and be open and kind. Remember to smile when interacting with the public and help to showcase how welcoming we are in DSM.

Each year, Corcoran looks for something new to try at the Festival, but also loves to go back to items she never thought she’d enjoy. Never too excited about sweet corn before, now Corcoran doesn’t miss the Mexican Street Corn!

Sign up to volunteer here.

Western Gateway in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is home to the World Food & Music Festival, where diverse cuisine, live music, cooking demonstrations and other performances offer a place to experience culture every September.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Molly Atkins

Molly Atkins is Events Specialist at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.