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Experience the World Food & Music Festival in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)! With the flavors, sights and sounds of cultures from around the world, The Festival, in scenic Western Gateway Park, is a chance to experience the food, music, dancing and customs from all corners of the globe.

Join The Festival in Downtown DSM from Friday, Sept. 14 - Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Admission is FREE!


  • Friday and Saturday  |  11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Sunday  |  11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

As you take your taste buds on a culinary tour of the world, you can taste diverse food from more than 25 countries. When you attend The Festival, you can also experience live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, adventure tents, free salsa dancing lessons with Salsa Des Moines and more. Get ready to enjoy a festival that fills both the body and the soul!

On-Site Cooking Demonstrations

In 2018, a wide variety of local chefs will demonstrate their culinary skills in the Meredith Culinary Discovery Pavilion. All weekend long, local chefs will offer samples of their delectable creations and instruct how to prepare them. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for anyone seeking to upgrade their cooking abilities.

Cultural Discovery Experience

Featuring a great mix of local ambassadors and fun activities, the Cultural Discovery Experience offers a virtual trip around the world with workshops, interactive presentations and hands-on activities. Each event is designed to expose visitors to authentic cultural experiences here in DSM. In past years attendees learned about Taiko Japanese Drumming, created Zen Calligraphy Characters, participated in world trivia with foreign exchange students and met cultural ambassadors wearing traditional attire from other countries. The full schedule will be posted in late August.

Attend the Adventure Tents

Adventure Tents

The Adventure Tents offer hands-on experiences from how to make your own chocolate lollipops to tastings of spices from around the world, or try exotic fruits and learn what makes them unique!

Nationwide Cooking Challenge

The Nationwide Cooking Challenge pits four teams against one another in a high-energy, high-stakes race to assemble the perfect meal and prove their culinary prowess. Teams must vie to create the perfect dish to impress an esteemed panel of celebrity judges utilizing ingredients purchased at the Downtown Farmers’ Market while navigating a few surprises along the way. Don’t miss this fast-paced throw-down!