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About the Festival

The World Food & Music Festival presented by Veridian Credit Union is a vibrant three-day cultural celebration that is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. It encompasses culinary vendors with cuisine from around the globe, professional cooking demonstrations, a unique cooking challenge, interactive cultural education programs and dancers and musicians with international flair. Special cultural and food adventure activities are available for children, while adults can enjoy an impressive variety of worldwide craft beers, wines and cocktails. Authentic cultural experiences are enjoyed by all.


The Festival began in October 2005 in the Historic East Village in Downtown DSM. It featured approximately two dozen vendors and welcomed thousands of guests eager to explore the diverse cuisine. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines was there from the beginning to support The Festival and provide a solid base from which to grow.

Over the years, The Festival expanded its vendors, programming and entertainment and continued to see more guests enjoying the activities each year. To accommodate the growth, The Festival moved onto the Downtown DSM bridges for several years and in 2017 expanded into its current home in Western Gateway Park. Today, more than 90,000 guests visit The Festival each year to taste, see, hear and experience the many wonders of the World Food & Music Festival.

What Makes the World Food & Music Festival Unique?

The Festival adds vibrancy to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community and celebrates businesses serving food representing tastes from around the globe.  

  • The Festival is one of the largest festivals in DSM, drawing an attendance of approximately 90,000.  
  • The Festival hosts a United States Naturalization Ceremony each year.
  • The Festival features over 50 food vendors that represent over 25 countries and culinary regions, all of which are considered small businesses. 
  • The Festival supports the arts and culture community by hiring dancers, musicians and entertainers.  
  • The Festival is FREE to all attendees and includes free programing, cooking demonstrations, adventure tents, children’s activities, cultural activities and performing arts. 

Past Music Acts


  • Flor de Toloache, a Latin-Grammy nominated all-women mariachi group 
  • Chicago Afrobeat Project, described as an “ever-evolving musical experiment 


  • Parranderos Latin Combo  


  • The Original Wailers, a reggae band 

Get Involved

Interested in participating? Visit the Get Involved page for more information.


The Festival's success is due in part to the generosity of its sponsors. For more information, visit the Sponsor page or contact Kathryn Smith, Director of Community Engagement.